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  • Writer's pictureRev. Kim Taylor

Pastor's Ponderings: Meandering through Mark 9:38-40 bible study (May 6, 2024)

May 6, 2024: Monday Morning Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark 9:38-40


Grace and Peace to you this Easter Monday. Yes, it is still Easter in the church. If you have wondered why we consider Easter as our main Holy Season, when it would almost seem that it should be Christmas, which in our nation is celebrated as a major economic event. In the Church, and in our lives, it is Easter which brings us into the fullness of God's Grace and Love for our lives through the suffering, death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. In fact, we can even tell of Easter's primacy when we just look at the Church Year Calendar. Christmas is celebrated for 12 days, and Easter is celebrated for 7 Sundays and Weeks. So here we are in May - and I wish you a heartfelt Happy Easter, and all of the joy and comfort that it brings to our lives. Please continue your prayers for all of the people who we have mentioned need our constant prayers. Steve who had prostate surgery and is now back at VA in need treatment for the gall bladder for. in and suffering. Jeff who has terminal cancer and about a year to live. Kandice who has cancer is very hard to treat. For Holly W's niece who has cancer. For me as I deal with too high blood pressure, and its complications in other ways as I thank God that I have survived my last major spike in pressure.




coffee pen notebook bible on table
Start your day with God's Word

Today we are studying a very interesting little passage in Mark that indicates to us an answer about Christ's Words about the fact that there are other sheep in His fold about whom we know nothing, who will be welcomed in heaven with us.


The case here is that the disciples are frustrated by a man who is healing people in the name of Jesus Christ, but he is not one of Christ's intimate group of followers. Jesus' comment "If he is not against us, then he is for us" calls us to note that this "other" healer is doing the same good work as the disciples, and he is doing it in Christ's name. I suppose it is possible that this other healer really doesn't understand the power and authority that he has used by healing in Christ's name. Of course, some who claim to do Christ's Holy Work, not only have no idea the power that springs from the Name of the Savior, but they may also be doing all of it, for personal gain with no sense of where that heart of a healer should be doing good for the world. For you and me, there is no way to figure out who God receives in His Heavenly Kingdom. For us, we know that the only path is to be immersed in the righteousness of Christ, and to depend on His merit before God, knowing that our sins have been set aside by our belief in Jesus Christ, and with that freedom from the burden of our sin we are able to move into the world once again knowing that we are saved and that we have that same message of salvation to bring to the world of people. However, there will be others called home to heaven by Christ, and that is His place as the judge of all people to welcome those who might seem to have lived life outside of faith in Christ. You and I live in the certainty of salvation. For others there is hope that in their own goodness, Christ will receive them. We never hear of this outsider who heals in Christ's name again in this Gospel. The focus, instead, is on Christ, and all that His disciples must know in order to continue their work of building the church after Christ's ascension. There are truly good people outside of the Church in God's world, and we also know that there are some in the Church who by their words and deeds will be set aside by Christ at judgement time. We must all live with a heart for God, for Christ, and accept the Spirit's ever present guidance in our daily living, loving Christ above all else, and loving each person because they are also God's creation, remembering that it is not ever our job to judge others in terms of their salvation -- that is the place of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Though we may hate the deeds and speech of another person, because of Christ, we must still love that person, asking and allowing the Spirit to move their hearts. This is perhaps the most difficult task we will ever face. To refuse to do so, will place us at issue with our Lord Jesus Christ. Keeping Christ's commandment to love God above all else, and to love our neighbor as we love our selves, is the very center of our relationship with Jesus. In doing so, we have become Christ's friends.


Tomorrow, we move on to Mark 9:41-42. What does it look when we come to accept Christ in our lives? We’ll talk about some of that tomorrow.


With Love in Christ, Pastor Kim


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