Summary: Jesus teaches us the way of love, how to give grace to our neighbors, whether we like them or not. Jesus teaches us about faith and miracles and healing but Jesus also teaches us about the simple things in life like going to a quiet place, alone and rest.
Word Count: 2050
Summary: Jesus teaches us the way of love, how to give grace to our neighbours, whether we like them or not. Jesus teaches us about faith and miracles and healing but Jesus also teaches us about the simple things in life like going to a quiet place, alone and rest.
This sermon was delivered to the congregation in St Oswald’s in Maybole, Ayrshire, Scotland on the 19th July 2009: by Gordon McCulloch (A Scottish Episcopal Church in the Dioceses of Glasgow and Dumfries).
Please join me in my prayer: Lord, many of us look forward to the summer as it is a time for vacations and holidays; whether we travel to the mountains or the sea side, whether it is in this country or abroad, but NOT everyone knows that it is a direct command from you, and that we should not feel guilty about resting, and just doing nothing in its proper place and time. Lord let me speak these words for you today, in Jesus name. Amen.
Our Gospel reading today is taken from Marks’s Gospel, chapter 6, verse 30-34 and 53-56. “The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.
Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed”.
My last sermon included over fifty verses; the opposite now applies where I considering only three verses. Let us read through Mark 30 – 32 again and be prepared to be surprised, as to where it takes us. My text is as usual from the King James.
“Then the apostles”; we will stop right here.
What is the word then placed here for? “Then the apostles”; then is a logical word to conclude the mission they had just returned from. The mission mentioned, prior to this verse, is where Jesus had sent out the 12 original apostles on their own; for the first time.
Funny enough the word, “apostle,” from the Greek means “sent”; sent as in go forth and not the smell.
The twelve disciples had been sent out on their first missionary journey alone; and we Christians are apostle-like people. We are always sent out into the world around us. We are not just Christians who sit back in our churches, or in our homes, our comfortable enclaves but we are actually sent into the communities, towns and villages around us with the message and the power of the gospel.
We do not realize that is what we do; but according to scripture, we are God’s representatives on Earth, so that must be what we do. Obviously somebody needs to tell us that, but it is up to us to believe it. Okay, we do not ram religion down other people’s throats, but by our very existence we are the representatives of Christ in this world today.
Question: if it is not us, who is it then who represents God? Do you know that we are the best God has, and that certainly worries me. In fact it is frightening to think of it in this way, but who else is representing Jesus in this world today?
Do you just think you come to Church every other Sunday, and do the odd good deed or two? No, there is so much more going on in your and my life, than you or I can possibly apprehend. Don’t believe me?
Well think of a time when somebody has confronted you, attacked you head on, and you are bound, you cannot retaliate in the same manner because you a Christian. I am sure this has happened to you many times, it has certainly happened to me; but note when this happens, recognize the fact that you are Gods representative, you are not acting alone. You are definitely not on your own. You are acting for Him, Him who will defend you.