I’m back from my mini-vacation, and boy, was it a busy work week!
We hit the ground running with a Membership Class on Monday night, so please do come join us on the morning of Sunday, March 12, for welcoming in two new members -- Paul Larson and Erika Agans -- to our church family.
We’ll also have a special Trivia Night on March 16 as a fundraising event for our missions trip to Haiti coming up in May. Anyone can join the special trivia tournament as an individual, but we encourage you to bring in your own team of six friends (ideally from outside of our church), stocking it with people with backgrounds and interests in lots of different areas (and no, I don’t know what the final prize will be for the winning team).
And if you have any used-but-nice items cluttering up your garage, attic, or basement (or, for you hoarders, anywhere else in your home), then we’d love to help you find them a new home where they can be loved by others. Our Church Rummage Sale is coming up, and the next collection time for your resale items will be this Saturday, March 4th, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at the church building. Just drop the office a line if you have any questions, since our office phone has apparently picked up some sort of a bug while I was gone and isn’t working quite right (but Wendy’s on that -- just give her time to get things right with AT&T).
In our message this Sunday, we continued on in our sermon series, looking at the Gospel of Mark. This week, we looked at Mark 6.
Jesus had just been coming off of a very long and exhausting time, by the time we get to chapter 6. He was already tired from His family’s lack of support, His religious leaders’ condemnation, and His own constant ministry by the time we got to that storm that He calmed in chapter 4. So He went to the other side of the lake to get away from things, only to have to deal with a demon-possessed man running out of the tombs at Him. Then He left to get some rest on the other side again, only to be crowded with people, heal a woman who’d been bleeding for twelve years, and raise a young girl from the dead. Then He went to His hometown (where He got no respect from anybody), sent out His disciples to preach and heal, and finally found out that His cousin, John, had been beheaded by King Herod. So by the time the disciples came back from their missions trips, you can understand why Jesus really needed to step away for some time off... which was when He was thronged with more needy people.
At the end of the day, the disciples told Him to dismiss the crowd so that they could get some food, so He just told the disciples to give them food. They’d seen Him heal, which He’d given them His power to do... and they did. They’d seen Him drive out demons, which He’d given them His power to do it... and they did. They’d seen Him work miracles, which He’d given them His power to do... and they decided that they couldn’t do it (especially with Jesus standing right there with them). So He sent them back out on the lake alone to remind them that they’d seen Him calm the storm, which He’d given them His power to do... and they decided that they couldn’t do that, either.
So many people were crowding around Jesus because they were desperate for His power to change things, but the people who knew Him best were oblivious to the fact that He had already given them His power to change things. They were too busy being used to everything being pretty much the way they’ve always been. It’s awfully easy to pray that God would change the world around us, but it can be really hard for us to pray that God would change the world through us -- to believe that God empowers all those whom He sends, and that He truly sends all those whom He empowers.
What is God calling you to do today to change the world around you? Will you step out and trust in His power and His leading, or will you just assume that it can’t be done and go back to watching television...?