The Rev. Thomas Nibbe
The Lord is my strength…He has become my salvation!(Psalm 117:14)
You and yours are most cordially invited to attend a dynamitecourse from the prophetic book of Ezekiel called “Ezekiel onSteroids” beginning at 9:45 a.m. today…This is followed by ourweekly worship experience – Holy Cross Holy Communion at11:00 a.m. There is opportunity for “hands on” ministry for you!Just a reminder that we are worshipping “live” in person today!
We continue to keep Larry Jorgensen in our prayers after hisprocedures this past week. Special prayer concerns for healing this morning for Dan Cinti, Jan Rose, Anna Carias,Carolyn Hultberg, Teri Naqishbendi, Diane Ruiz, Rob Grindrod, Priscilla Nibbe, Andy Zanetti, the Karstedt family and Dan Cinti.
THOSE WHO HAVE COME TO THE LORD”…but now you who once were far away have beenbrought near through the blood of Christ…”(Ephesians 2:13)
TO KING DAVID”…’The Lord declares to you that the Lord Himself will establish a house for you: I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, who will come from your own body, and I will establish His kingdom…He is the One who will build a house for my name and I will establish the throne of His kingdom forever…your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever…'”(2 Samuel 7:12-13)
YAHWEH’S PROMISE REGARDING JESUS”…’The days are coming’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will raise up to David, a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land…in His days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety…this is the name by which He will be called…THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.”(Jeremiah 23:1-6)
WE ARE SATISFIED AND COVERED”…the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…”(Psalm 23)
GOD GIVES US COURAGE”In my anguish I cried out to the Lordand He answered me by setting me free…The Lord is with me…I will not be afraid…What can humanity do to me?”(Psalm 117:5-6)
THE LIFE-GIVING POWER OF JESUS”…Jesus went in and said to the people wailing,’Why all this commotion and wailing? The child isnot dead, but asleep”, but they laughed at Him…”(Mark 5:39-40)
GO AHEAD! LAUGH AT HIM. MAKE HIM SEEM SMALL.
WE ARE GOD’S HOLY TEMPLE”…you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus — Himself as the chief cornerstone…in Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord…and in Him, you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit…”(Ephesians 2:11-22)
IN LOVE JESUS MINISTERS
“…when Jesus landed and saw a large crowd…He had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd…so He began to teach them many things…”(Mark 6:30-34,53-56)
“…they begged Him to let them touch even theedge of His cloak, and all who touched Himwere healed…” (Mark 6:56b)
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“…if you wish to drown, don’t torture
yourself with shallow water…”(Anonymous)
“…my life is in the hands of any fool who makes me lose my temper…”(Joseph Hunter)
“…the mass of humanity lead lives of quiet desperation…”(Henry David Thoreau)
“…the efforts which we make to escape from our destiny only serve to lead us into it…”(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
“…you can fool some of the people some of the time…
…you can fool
most of the people most of the time…
…but you cannot fool all the people all the time…”(Abraham Lincoln)
WE’LL REMEMBER THIS ONE”…if you hate a person, you hate somethingin that person that is part of yourself…whatisn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us…”(Herman Hesse)
Would you join me in prayer this morning?
Gracious, loving God,
This is the day you have made for us to live in. We have a choice to make and you leave thatup to us. We can choose to be judgmental,critical, and negative. Or. We can choose toaccept your invitation that we take the high roadin life. We can give thanks for all situations wewill face. We can make the best of every singlecircumstance. We can trust that you won’t letanything to happen that isn’t part of your perfectplan for our lives. We promise to do our best,and as in past days, we ask that you forgive usour sins, and know that you will forgive us whenwe fall short of our goal of pleasing you and actingaccording to your purpose. We know that you area compassionate God and we love you for it.In Jesus’ name.
In the lesson from Mark’s Gospel for this Sunday morning there are a number of details that need to be looked at closely and brought into focus for our understanding. Last Sunday’s lesson featured the horrible event of King Herod ordering the head of John the Baptist to be presented to the daughter of Herodias on aplatter. We can remain aghast at this, and wellwe might, but we can also see in this tragedy“a point of major departure” from a long, long time of “Preparation for the Messiah”…
Now Jesus of Nazareth makes His appearance.His ministry to the common people sets off a dynamic chain reaction throughout Israel, including avid note within the royal household.
The day of the “forbearer” of the promise made to David (2 Samuel 7:13) passes with John’s death…
Enter…Jesus of Nazareth (Galilee)
The years of ministry and eventual passion have begun.
Emmanuel made His appearance.[“Emmanuel” means “God with us”]
God Almighty took on human flesh through Jesus.
Even King Herod heard about Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus’ name had become well known, even in sophisticated Jerusalem. Up until the sixth chapterof Mark’s Gospel, Jesus called His disciples, taught in the synagogue in Capernaum, cast out evil spirits,healed Simon Peter’s mother-in-law who has fever, healed leprosy, healed a paralytic, taught by the Sea of Galilee, and even calmed a storm or two. The deedwhich really got King Herod’s attention was when Jesus raised up Jairus’ daughter….Herod exclaimed,
“John, the man I beheaded, has been raised from the dead!”
God in human flesh, commissioned for service throughbaptism by John the Baptist in the River Jordan, had beguna ministry among the people. The Gospel of John (1:10ff)says this about Him:
“He was in the world, and though the world was madethough Him, the world didn’t recognize Him…He came tothat which was his own, but his own didn’t receive Him…the Word became flesh and made His dwelling amongus…we’ve seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only,who came from the Father, full of grace and truth…”
The writer of Hebrews (1:3) describes Him this way:
“…the Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exactrepresentation of His being, sustaining all things by Hispowerful word…”
What was promised by God the Father through the ageshad now become a reality in the ministry of Jesus.
Word spread quickly about the healing hands of this special man from Galilee…
The people came in droves. Jesus and the disciplesdidn’t even have time to eat and rest. He suggested that they go to a solitary place. Even though they got into a boat to do so, the people followed them around theSea of Galilee and arrived at their destination before they landed. Even though Jesus was exhausted andand hungry, He had compassion on them. They seemed so beaten down and pushed around. They seemed so very needy…what a sorry-looking lot of humanity…
Many had come from afar. They were there in the thousands. Some had lost their jobs and needed to hear a word to give them confidence and hope. Some had lost loved ones and needed to be comforted. Some were disabled and mistreated, a fate for manyworse than any human being should ever be treated. Some were in pain, many with long-term illness. Many were disabled. Some had nothing at all…no job to support their family, no food to eat, some with no family, no means means of transportation, and no home to live in…homeless—out on the street. Some had been sorely abused all through their live and needed to hear a word that would bring them peace and a sense of well-being. They had one hope, even if, only, to touch the hem of His garment to be healed or made whole.They were all assured that Jesus would help them.
He had compassion on them. They were like sheep without a shepherd…a sad, beaten-down crowd. Whata ragged bunch! Jesus’ heart went out to them. Heknew what they needed…personal comfort took aback-seat within Him…
The phase comes in the 34th verse, “…so He beganteaching them many things…” I’ve wondered for years,what did Jesus say to them. What did he teach them?I can’t wait to ask Him that question some day…
Perhaps He let them know, as Saint Paul (Romans 8:28)would say, “…in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose…” Perhaps Jesus shared what Saint Peter laterwrote, (1 Peter 1:6,7), “…for a little while you may have tosuffer grief in all kinds of trials…these come so that yourfaith—of greater worth than gold [which perishes eventhough refined by fire]—may be proved genuine and resultin praise, glory and honor…when you receive the goal ofyour faith…the salvation of your souls…”
We just don’t know what Jesus said to them, but I’m sureit made a great deal of positive difference in their lives.
At the same time, I am fascinated that the Gospel selectionends here for this Sunday, and doesn’t include “the feedingof the five thousand”. There must have been a creditablereason for that. It leads me to believe that the key phrasefor us to have in mind given by our liturgy folks selecting the Gospel lesson for today is:
“He had compassion upon them…”
The Lord Jesus not only had the power to heal the sick, raise the dead, and feed five thousand with extremely limited resources…but—He had compassion…for theGospel writer Mark this fact seemed so very important.
It causes us to take note of the importance of being acompassionate person at all times, especially when it’sinconvenient for us…especially, like Jesus and the disciples,when we’re weary and hungry, to be motivated to serveothers anyway. That’s the real test for a heart bent uponpleasing God. We’d have to admit we aren’t always up to it. I’m sure the disciples weren’t. I guess that’s the greatdifference between the mindset of Jesus and just trying, on our own terms, to do the right thing and look half-waydecent before others. The call to follow Christ Jesus is tosometimes be tired, weary and hungry, and yet, have thevision to have “compassion”. That’s the real test. Are weup for that? I rest assured that’s what the folks who preparethe lessons for the Sundays of the church year had in mind.
May you have a Sunday and the week following blessing after abundant blessing to carry you through. May the Lord have mercy upon us and grant us peace and joy,no matter what the “enemy” and the world may give us!We’re more than conquerors through Jesus who loves us.