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  • Writer's pictureRev. Kim Taylor

Pastor's Ponderings: Meandering through Mark 9:36-37 bible study (April 30, 2024)

April 30, 2024:  Tuesday Morning Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark 9:36-37

Good morning and may these closing days of the Church Year Season of Easter find you still excited and filled with joy because Jesus has been resurrected and has now ascended to our Father in Heaven.

This morning, I woke up to being ill, but I will later catch a nap, and of course, Pastor's family transport service will still go on because Melody is only able to drive short distances until her knee replacement is more healed. This next Sunday at American is Gospel Music Sunday. We hope that you will join us for worship, and then come to the carry-in lunch after worship. The theme is Southwestern. If possible, let us know that you will be with us by calling the church office at 520-623-3661. For our regulars and members, we are already planning on most of you being with us. The other quick news is that after having one car die last week, (it needed a new battery) our van blew a radiator hose after I picked up the boys after school, so it is in the garage getting repaired. We hope that it will be back late today, or tomorrow.

bible books on a shelf
Bible Study: exploring scripture together

Today we have a small two verse passage to consider from Mark 9:36-37.  Here we find Jesus still speaking with the disciples in that Rabbinical mode. He is trying to get them to understand what is important, as well as, what makes the followers of Christ so different from the world in how they live their lives and serve others as their ministry unfolds. I believe that we know that Jesus is fond of children.  After all, according to Mark He had younger siblings.  However, in this case of bringing a child into the midst of His teaching the disciples, he is making an example of what it meant to serve others. A child has little value in terms of its ability to produce to support the family, or to offer its wisdom in difficult to understand circumstances. A child is dependent on those who love him or her. They need their food, clothing, opportunities to be cleaned up, a shelter in which to live and rest, and to learn about life by teaching and/or by example. All of this being said, at least in our culture children are treasured and cherished above almost every other thing in a family's life!  A number of years ago, singer Ray Stevens sang a song which I have shared in prelude form, Jesus Loves the Little Children. This is most certainly true, but Jesus was speaking about the child He was holding as He taught, as a model of the kind of individuals that the disciples were meant to serve. They were called by Christ, and so are we, to bring the Gospel Good News as a gift for those who lives seem to be lost to the rest of the world. Yes, I know, the Gospel message is for everyone. But the reality is how we show Christ's love to those who we may really not want to have to spend any time. We know who these folks are. They stand on corners, their lives are usually between a rock and a hard place, they are unkept, unwashed, homeless, and more. These are the ones with whom we are called to present the Good News of Jesus' love for them. In this passage Jesus speaks more clearly about worthy and unworthy ambition. He tells His disciples to stand carefully in the purity of the Gospel when the relationship is reciprocal. Share the Gospel instead with those who are unable to give anything in return. Let their time with you be their gift and blessing. There should be no gain because we have chosen the relationship where that is possible, and it benefits us with status blessings in return. We must remember that we cannot earn Christ's gifts for our lives by anything that we say or do. We come with nothing to give that Christ does not already know. Our humble faith in Christ's Love comes when we know how little we deserve what Jesus brings for us, and we are sinners who He has given His life for! We know the words. Inasmuch as you have done it for the least of these, you have done it for me. It is in this way of loving all people, that we receive Christ, and through Him, our Father in Heaven. God bless you and keep you every day. With Love in Christ, Pastor Kim

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