Thursday, June 16, 2011

COUNTDOWN FROM HOUSTON...10...9...8...7...6...5...

Tomorrow Annette & I celebrate 22 years of marriage. I love her so much!  Maybe your thinking that's all great, but what's that got to do with Ireland and our call?  Nothing and everything.

I've been reading in Mark 6.  This chapter starts with the arrival of Jesus in Nazareth and ends with the beheading of John the Baptist.  Yet in the middle of all this is the sending out of the twelve.  If you go to the text you'll discover a couple of things. 

As Jesus calls them to "go" he doesn't send them out alone.  They go together.  Ministry is NOT something you do by yourself.  I would be so bold as to suggest you can't do it by yourself.  To quote my mentor, "We really do need each other!"  It's true... we really do!  Maybe you've already caught the connection. Let's just say it this way, I'm so glad I have the opportunity to "go" with Annette.

Something else....did you notice the instructions Jesus gave the disciples in Mark 6:8-11?  "These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town.  And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”

What does Jesus mean here?  I think perhaps the best answer to that question is found in looking at the example of Jesus in John 4.

In this story we find Jesus asking a Samaritan woman for a drink of water, engaging her in conversation, ended up staying in town... How does this amplify what he shares with the disciples in Mark 6?  He came into that scene with empty hands(no bread, no bag, no money)... nothing with which to draw water.  It would have been right for Jesus to have begun that conversation speaking about HER need, but instead Jesus starts from HIS point of need.  He needed her help!  Is that not interesting?  In addition,  He entered a town that no self-respecting Jew would enter, instead they would shake the dust off their feet and go on.  Why did Jesus stay?  He was welcomed.  He was invited to stay.

Lord... help us to enter the lives of people as Jesus instructed and modeled.