Are we MOVED?

40 A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”41 Jesus was indignant. He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” (Mark 1:40-41)

Indignant. Other translations choose “moved with compassion.”

Early in Mark’s gospel we see the action of Jesus and it often attaches emotion. Jesus is moved by the human condition.

It’s not a matter of “staying mad” all the time, but it IS a matter of having our consciences moved. Pricked. Sliced and diced.

The human condition of our death culture. We are ready to snuff out life before it reaches full term. We are willing to cut life off once it’s here. There needs to be a moving in our spirits where we become indignant. 

When we see people continually beat down by the enemy, would we allow the Spirit to cause a flame of rage to rise up in our spirit and we would declare in prayer, “NO MORE!”

Jesus felt the condition around him and acted. We need to feel again. To feel the racism. To feel the poverty. To feel the bondages thrown on people by the gods of this age. From the people in the gutter who are obviously “on the margins” to those in bondage in other ways and we won’t see it because they look secure… we need a new awareness of the bondage and activity of the Spirit all around us.

Let us feel once again. And then, as Jesus did, let us act. 

Being people of hope

N.T. Wright leaves us with a powerful reminder of our call as the Church in his book, Surprised by Scripture. 

The mission of the church is to drag people into buildings or to run raffles or issues statements.

At some point having a place to worship, having funding, and stating beliefs do matter, but it’s not core to what the Church is about.

…the mission of the church is to be for the world what Jesus was for Israel — a mission that will send us back to the four Gospels again and again, not only to be amazed by the power and love of God but to draw down that power and love, through prayer and the Holy Spirit, so that we can be Jesus people for the world, kingdom people for the world, forgiveness people for the world.

It is to live in forgiveness, not mere tolerance. And with forgiveness comes “an implacable refusal to collude with sin, with violence or prejudice or spite…” If there is something that will deface and corrupt God’s good and beautiful creation, as the people of God we don’t want anything to do with it.

What we CAN offer this world is the forgiveness and love of Christ. It is a love that calls the sinner out and says, “You really don’t need to live that way anymore. You are capable of so much more.”

We CAN offer this world works of justice, acts of kindness, hope of healing, and a willingness to walk with anyone through their doubt as they truly search for a way that is better in their life.

The powerful hope of the Kingdom for this world isn’t found in the headlines. It isn’t even found in social media most of the time. The powerful hope of the Kingdom is found in people who anonymously go into hard places to serve in ways no one sees. They reach out to prisoners. They feed the homeless. They sit with dying patients when no family is left to see them… On and on. It is in the corridors of power where people will quietly meet with those in power are are so lonely… and NOT take a picture to post on Facebook. People who will simply be with them to hear their struggles and walk them through some hard decisions.

Powerful hope of the Kingdom is found in the out of the way places where no one goes. We feel good making a hashtag about Nigerian girls, but there are so many in that zone trying to simply live out hope and healing to the families that are left behind. Unsung heroes. True hope.

There is probably someone in your life today needing that hope and forgiveness. They’ve stumbled… again… and they will probably stumble again next week. A phone call, a card, a visit today would be life to them.

Bring hope and healing. And leave the social media out of it this time.

Can we let up in prayer?

We have had some BIG things happen in prayer this year. As a church, we have prayed intensely for great needs. Missionary friends in extreme need. World situations. 

We cannot let up. 

Three requests guarding cancer, and one is personal. 

Would you intercede for my dad who is going through some tests? We would LOVE to hear that there is NO cancer. 

Would you intercede for a pastor’s wife named Elaine? She has battled and won with cancer before. It has returned. She needs a miracle.

Would you intercede for another minister’s wife named Jane? She is battling cancer at a serious stage right now. 

Friends, we can NOT give up. Please be in prayer and help these friends not grow weary!