Monday, July 13, 2009

Tend the unshepherded Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

Year B, Season of Pentecost Proper 11, Ordinary 16, Pentecost 7, Between July 17-23
Jesus invited his friends to gather together and go away with him. The crowds who came looking for help from him and his friends were growing and Jesus wanted to be alone with just his friends for a while.

Jesus was, and still is, the very best example of what we are to do and how we are to live. Jesus lived like heaven mattered more than earth; he lived like love mattered more than money, and like people mattered more than things. To the powerful among his own people Jesus was a radical who disturbed the order of society, but to the hurting people of his day it meant everything just to be with Jesus and his friends.

Looking back at him 2000 years later I believe that no one before or after him has ever shown better what it is to live right with God and right with the people around him than Jesus did.

Inside the church we know about Jesus today. We know that Jesus came to earth. We know from the hymns and the stories that we've heard, read, and sung that he came as a boy who grew both in the eyes of God and in the eyes of human beings. We know him; we often choose not to follow him; but we know him even when we'd rather turn away from him.

Outside of the church Jesus is a mystery. People hear about this baby at Christmas time and they wonder who he is or how it could be that God would come to earth. At Easter people outside the church on a week to week basis hear about Jesus as a person who willing to die for others and they wonder if its true; and sometime they might even wonder if he'd die for them.

Jesus response to the lost and the hurting was compassion. When it was his friends who were tired he asked them to go away and rest. They got into the boat and found a deserted place, but even more still came looking to find him. When Jesus saw that crowd and another crowd gather to meet him he was filled with compassion. He saw hurting people as he looked at them. He saw sheep without a shepherd. Today the church is at its best when we respond to the people around us, whether they are in the church or our of the church as Jesus did in compassion and mercy.

The church, the body of Christ, started very small. It started with a few people who gathered around the teacher. He sent them out and they had no leisure, not even time to eat. The earliest Church of God in Christ was there in the boat that went out in that day onto Lake Galilee. The church grew as those who believed that Jesus could change their lives kept on following him and started to live like he did.

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