God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Sunday, September 21, 2014

What Will You Choose

 The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 68 

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?’ When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, ‘Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.’ So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.  Mark 16:1-8
       We have reached the last story that Mark has to tell us about Jesus and discipleship. Mark has brought us to a point of decision. He wants us to choose what we will do now that we have heard and experienced the Good News? What will we do now that we know who Jesus is and have heard about God's kingdom? What we will choose to do now that we know? Mark is not unbiased in what decision he wants you to make. He has carefully and subtly led you to this point of decision.  
      So in this last story he tells us about what happens to the last of Jesus' followers. The women who have been following Jesus return to his grave to anoint him. They are wondering about how they will roll the stone in front of his tomb away, but as they arrive they see the stone has already been rolled away. And there is the young man who had lost his clothes fleeing from the authorities is now robed in white and sitting on the right. The women are alarmed, scared, worried. This young man said to them, "Don't be afraid. You are looking for Jesus, he has been raised and is not here. Go tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him." The women fled the tomb in terror and amazement. They said nothing to anyone for they were afraid. They said nothing for they were afraid.  
       They said nothing, for they were afraid. If these women who followed Jesus, who demonstrated servant leadership will say nothing, how will we respond to this fear and silence? Mark is calling you to speak out, to follow Jesus, to take over where all of Jesus' followers have failed. Will you speak? Will you follow? Will you go to Galilee to meet Jesus? Will you go to Galilee - the place where Jesus showed us the dawning kingdom by being with the people and going to the places where God's heart is? Will you encounter the demons in church, the evil in the religious institutions and cleanse it (Mk 1:21-28)? Will you heal those who are hurt and sick by bringing God's desire for health and wholeness to people who need healing (Mk 1:29-34)? Will you preach the Good News? Will ask people to repent? Will you invite people to turn back toward God and believe (Mk 1:14-15, 39)? Will you spend time in church and alone with God to renew and revive your self, to learn about God's word (Mk 1:22-23, 35)? Will you welcome into your community the outsider, the outcast, the lost, the lonely, the one who feels unloved and unforgiven? Will you allow God to choose you (Mk 1:40-45, 2:1-12? Will you eat with those who are strangers and undesirable? Will you open your table extravagantly and abundantly? Will you feast with the tax collectors and sinners? Will you eat in the wilderness with the crowds thanking and blessing the food you have been given (Mk 2:13-28, 6:30-44)? This is the Galilee where you are called to meet Jesus? Will you hear the call? Will you answer the fear and silence by saying yes, I will speak, I will share the Good News, I will go where you send me?

Prayer Practice:
Take a moment to get comfortable.  Breath in and out releasing the worries and concerns of the day.  

Jesus, I heard you call Repent and believe the Good News. We are scared of the challenge of discipleship? You call us to journey with you to the places in our world and community where people are hurt and in need of wholeness. You call us to be present with those who are hurt and lonely. You call us to welcome the unlovable and undesirable. Please be with me here in this moment helping us to choose to move forward into the mystery, the danger, the hope of your call. Amen.

The Summons: Will You Come and Follow Me


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