"David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the namve of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied."" (1 Samuel 17:45 NIV)
We talked about all the changes happening, last week, so now I would like to ask...... How are you facing said changes? Some of them, like how hot is has been, and the lack of rain, we just have to deal with (while praying for rain!) don't we? What about the others we have worked toward and been excited about - the graduation, the promotion, the wedding, the new baby, the job? With all the planning and excitement, did we think about - plan for - what comes next?
Our Scripture readings are about how people were facing giants in their lives. David tells Goliath God "of the army of Israel" is with him. In just a few verses David will run "quickly toward the battle line." (v. 48) Jairus literally falls at Jesus feet to ask Jesus to come. (Mark 5:22-23) and the woman "subject to bleeding" (v. 25) reaches out to "touch his clothes" because "if I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." (v. 28) Each of these people has figured out the "giant," planned what they need to do and "faced" the giant. They are moving forward into the changes happening around them.
Sometimes, especially as Caregivers, we have to face the changes and deal with "planning" - moving forward - after. The question is, however, do we really believe God IS with us? Can we even think in terms of "just touch his clothes" to know Emmanuel? Can we, as often as possible, make the plan, execute the plan and "run quickly toward" the giant? Interesting to think about........
"He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?"" (Mark 4:40)
Have you had any changes happening in your life lately? We could start with the obvious one -- we are definitely to summer. Or what about being able to "go" places again? What about less obvious changes - like a wedding (or anniversary) planned for sometime soon (or just happened). Any one you know graduating? Getting a promotion? What about achieving the goal you have been working toward for _____ days, weeks, months, years? You made it!! Good for you!! You kept going, doing, working..... now what?
Our Scripture readings are about facing our changes. Think about the changes happening in the readings - David is running errands for his father - take this "grain and 10 loaves of bread for your brothers." (v. 17) The writer of Corinthians, some say Paul, is trying to help people understand why we are together to work - which is actually the end of chapter five. Jesus, and the Disciples, have had another busy day, teaching, healing, and answering questions. Jesus has them get in the boat to "cross the lake." (vs. 35) Jesus goes to sleep IN the boat. A storm (giant) comes up -- change happening. The Disciples wake Jesus up, He calms the storm and asks "have you still no faith"? (v. 40) Change (giants) happening in all the readings just like is happening around us today.
One of our main goals is the care of our "people." Another, just as important goal, is the care of ourselves so we can take care of our "people." The question is -- do we REALLY believe Jesus is "in the boat" with us? Is Jesus asking us "have you still no faith?" Something to think about......
"Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor." (1 Peter 2:17)
Family.... who do you think of as "in" your family? Our children, definitely, and grandchildren (of course!) and IF our parents are still alive we might claim them -- although I know some who wouldn't. I don't know about you but I have a few "sisters of the heart" that I'm sure Dad just forgot to adopt. There were also children through our home through all the years - most (if not all) we have no idea where they are now. My parents were foster parents for over 50 years and had over 250 children in their care during that time. So I grew up knowing "family" was more than my parents and biological sister.
The Scripture reading this morning, from Peter, and the Gospel reading last week both speak of the "family of believers." (v. 17) Jesus points out, in Mark 3:35 "Whoever does God's will is my brother and sister and mother." We talked about it, last week, for if we really believe but I want to ask another question this morning. I'm wondering if we s-t-o-p to take time to be with them. I'm wondering if we stop to l-i-s-t-e-n to them. They may, or may not, be where we are in walking with God because they may (or may not) have the same way of being with God.
The question is.... can we still love them? Can we still "respect" them? My friend, John Wesley, is quoted as saying "We may not all think alike but can we not all love alike?" Now that is an interesting thought isn't it? Can we at least respect, if not love, alike?
"But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with Scripture - "I believed, and so I spoke" - we also believe, and so we speak." (2 Corinthians 4:13)
Silence - have you ever sat in "silence"? What did you hear? I did this for a school assignment once. I was surprised at all the things I heard. I could hear my son's breathing (he was taking a nap) in the next room, the refrigerator motor, the birds singing outside, a gentle breeze blowing through the trees and the train going through town a few miles away. "Silence" wasn't so "silent." Have you ever tried it?
The Scripture, today, is about speaking, and listening, and if we are doing what we hear and speak. In Samuel we here God telling the people God should come first - not a king. (1 Samuel 8:7-9) In Corinthians we hear "we have the same Spirit" so we believe and speak. In the Gospel Jesus is saying those who do "the will of God is my brother and sister and mother." (Mark 3:35) The family of God doing the will of God. Kind of what God told Samuel was NOT happening. (v. 7) My question is about how we are not only listening but "doing." (Mark 3:35) There are times when our actions speak a LOT louder than our words..... Sometimes we are the only Bible people ever see - let alone read.
So....... if we really believe, like we have spoken about before, are we FILLED with the Holy Spirit? Can people, besides our care receivers, actually see God's love in us? Can we show God's love to others even as we are silent and listening?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.