July 29, 2018
If you thought this series on Living Like Jesus was going to be a checklist of ‘Dos and Don’ts’ you are probably disappointed by now. Living like Jesus isn’t that simple, is it? We have to look for God in the interruptions and depend on God alone to provide for our needs. When evil seems to be taking over, it’s only by claiming our identity in Christ that we can overcome that evil.
As we learned last week, we have to stay in the boat with Jesus, instead of running ahead to where we think he’s going. And living like Jesus means having gut-wrenching compassion for those who don’t know him. That means allowing ourselves to be touched as the “fringe of his cloak” in order to be Christ’s healing touch in the world.
Today’s reading gives us the final installment of this sixth chapter of Mark. We’re about to move out of the mundane and into the miraculous. Continue reading
July 18, 2021
We’re working our way through the sixth chapter of Mark’s gospel this month, taking a deep look at what it means to live like Jesus. It’s more than just doing what Jesus does, and saying what Jesus says. Living like Jesus means having the same purpose and identifying ourselves completely with Christ. This is an act of continual surrender.
So far, we’ve learned that we need to pay attention to interruptions, because that’s where God often shows up. But sometimes we have to really look for God in order to see God at work. And we have also been reminded to depend completely on God’s provision for us, if we want our lives to be fruitful. Last week, we learned that when evil seems to be winning the battle inside us and in the world around us, the only thing that can save us is finding our identity in Jesus Christ.
Mark likes to insert one story into another, and the story of John the Baptist’s execution last week was one of those insertions. Now Mark brings us back to Galilee, as the disciples return from their preaching expedition. It’s been a good trip, and they are eager to tell Jesus all about it, but they are also really tired.
July 11, 2021
Have you ever noticed that bad stuff always seems to happen just when you thought things were great? I’m a pretty optimistic person, but as I get older, I notice myself becoming wary whenever things start going well. I start “waiting for the other shoe to drop.” And I think I know exactly when I started this business of anticipating the worst whenever life was really good. Continue reading
July 4, 2021
Can you believe it’s already July? The year is more than half over! During the month of July, we’ll be spending some time in the sixth chapter of Mark’s gospel. We will be looking at stories that focus on what it means to live like Jesus. If we want to be real followers of Jesus Christ, true disciples, we have to put ourselves in the original disciples’ sandals and walk with Jesus day by day. We have to observe what he does and hear what he says, and mirror that behavior and speech in our own lives.
Last week, we looked at the way Jesus finds opportunities for ministry in the interruptions. While we might consider such an interruption to be a nuisance that upsets our plans, Jesus sees it as a way to touch lives with compassion and offer healing. Over the next few weeks, Mark will show us how to live like Jesus in the way we look for grace when evil seems to overwhelm us, in the way we show compassion to others, and the way we can take courage from God’s miraculous work in our lives. Continue reading