Monday Morning: 13 May 2019 – Mark 9:30-50 ~ on the job training

Monday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for the Renewal of Life – Monday)

O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 9:30-50 (NLT)

Jesus Again Predicts His Death

Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know he was there, for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of his enemies. He will be killed, but three days later he will rise from the dead.” They didn’t understand what he was saying, however, and they were afraid to ask him what he meant.

The Greatest in the Kingdom

After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”

Then he put a little child among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not only me but also my Father who sent me.”

Using the Name of Jesus

John said to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he wasn’t in our group.”

“Don’t stop him!” Jesus said. “No one who performs a miracle in my name will soon be able to speak evil of me. Anyone who is not against us is for us. If anyone gives you even a cup of water because you belong to the Messiah, I tell you the truth, that person will surely be rewarded.

“But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It’s better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, ‘where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.’

“For everyone will be tested with fire. Salt is good for seasoning. But if it loses its flavor, how do you make it salty again? You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other.”
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Morning Reflection:

on the job training

“Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee.
Jesus didn’t want anyone to know he was there,
for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them.”
– Mark 9:30-31a

The disciples had a lot to learn, as today’s reading reveals. Three of them had seen his glorified, risen presence on the Mount of Transfiguration, and still they didn’t understand the suffering dimension of his mission. And the others struggled with weak faith as they attempted to cast out an evil spirit in his name.

They were not yet ready for prime time, so Jesus devoted himself to their on-the-job training. What are some of the takeaways in today’s reading that can help us?

+ Expect betrayal and suffering: The forces arrayed against the advance of God’s Kingdom are both within the church and outside of it. Followers of Jesus Christ can expect misunderstanding and persecution.

+ Go to the back of the line: It’s not about our fame, or greatness. Followers of Jesus must take on his servant mindset, putting other’s needs before their own. And they must humble themselves, serving the least among them, even a little child.

+ You’re not the only game in town: God is at work through other followers of Jesus who are outside of your circle of friends. The defining mark is believing in Jesus, and working in his name. Expect to be surprised.

Questions for consideration:

  • Have you ever suffered for following Jesus Christ? If so, what was the source? If not, why not? Please explain.
  • What is your role as a follower of Jesus Christ – at home, at work, at church? Do you consider yourself a servant? How does that work out? Please explain.
  • Typically in the U.S. we pass many churches on the way to our own. What is your attitude towards them? Have you ever been surprised by what God is doing outside of your church, or tradition? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer:

The Persecuted Church: Prayer for Christians in the midst of persecution:

Heavenly Father: I pray for Christians suffering persecution and hardship because of their faith. Meet them in their deepest sorrow and comfort them. Strengthen them in faith that they may continue to follow you, and empower them with your Spirit to respond in love to the evil shown by their persecutors – that doors will open to share the Good News of your Kingdom. I ask this in Jesus’ name, who lives and reigns with you in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.

My Prayer:

Heavenly Father: Give the me the humility and teachability of a little child, that I may be eager to learn from your Word and Spirit. Grant me the courage to speak the truth in the face of opposition, and to live faithfully as a follower of Jesus. Give me a servant’s heart to consider the needs of others before my own, that I might find peace and joy at the back of the line. Surprise me with your wonder-working power displayed by those I might least expect. And thank you for sending your Spirit to live in me, through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ – who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.
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“Build My Life “ – Pat Barrett

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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