Morning Musings: Mark 6:30-31

“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.’ For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been tired? Of course you have. You’re probably tired right now. So much of our culture – and many cultures around the world – operate on a limited amount of rest. But there are different kinds of tired. There’s sleepy tired, worn out tired, tired of it tired, and that special kind of proud and satisfied tired that comes from having worked hard at something good and right and done a good job at it. The disciples returning to Jesus from the missionary assignment He sent them to accomplish were this last kind of tired. Whatever kind of tired you happen to be, though, the solution is rest. When Jesus knew His disciples were tired, He sought rest for them. This morning, let’s pause with them in that for a minute together.

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Morning Musing: Mark 6:16

“When Herod heard of it, he said, ‘John, the one I beheaded, has been raised.'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What lessons do you draw from a story that doesn’t make any sense? Well, not many usually. But what if that story happens to be in the Bible? In that case it feels like you should get something from it. After all, why would God have included it in the Scriptures if not to teach us something? That’s the whole point of 2 Timothy 3:16, right? Well, yes, but as Andy Stanly likes to say, “All Scripture is equally inspired, but not all Scripture is equally applicable or relevant to every stage of life.” Sometimes a story is just a good story for where we are. Let’s talk about one Mark includes here.

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Pausing to Take It All In

Have you ever tried being quiet? How about this: Have you ever tried creating quiet around you? In our busy, noisy world, that can be a pretty tall order. Not only is our world filled with noise almost constantly, but we like the noise. We’re not comfortable in the quiet. And yet, when our world gets noisy, it becomes hard to hear the quiet voice of our God. The next spiritual discipline worth our time and attention is the discipline of silence. And for this one I’m adding something just a bit different than the norm. This message included both taped and live components and really only makes sense if you can experience both of them. With that in mind, I’m including the video of the sermon in addition to the audio. Enjoy.

Pausing to Take It All In

Hi.

It’s time for the sermon…but you probably guessed that since I walked up to the stand.

Hey! Did you know this thing is technically just a music or book stand and not actually a pulpit? We often call it a pulpit, but originally the word “pulpit” referred to a whole raised platform from which the preacher delivered his sermon. The pulpit often included a book stand like this, but it was the whole shebang. What most preachers use today are just book stands, but the terminology stuck.

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Morning Musing: Mark 6:7

“He summoned the Twelve and began to send them out in pairs and gave them authority over unclean spirits.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of the classic characters from American television history is the Lone Ranger. This hero of western lore was a symbol for justice in the untamed American West. He fought villains and protected weak wherever he went. Since his original introduction in a radio series in 1933, the Lone Ranger has been an American icon. He is what we should all aspire to be: brave, just, honest, kind, gentle, fair, and true. There are other elements of his persona that reflect the American spirit as well. Perhaps the most notable of these is the fact that he is the Lone Ranger. He’s on a solo quest against injustice. He can do it all by himself. That sounds so rugged, so adventurous, so noble, and so likely to fail spectacularly. In real life, Lone Ranger-type quests rarely make a splash. Jesus understood this. And so while He was actually the one person in human history who could have done it all Himself, He refused to take that path.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 6:5-6

“He was not able to do a miracle there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. He was going around the villages teaching.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Can anything stop the power of God? Of course not! Right? Yes! I think so… Why the indecision? Because this is yet another of those stories in the Scriptures that leaves you asking some hard questions at first read. The plain text here says Jesus was not able to do a miracle. Now, if it said He wouldn’t do one, that would be interesting, but okay. But couldn’t? Wasn’t He Jesus? Let’s talk about it.

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