This Sunday’s Lectionary text is early in Jesus’ ministry as Mark tells it. Jesus has just called his disciples out of their daily vocations in Galilee, has taught in a local synagogue, and has cast out an evil spirit. We might see these stories and the text that follows as an opportunity to see how we are empowered to rise above our circumstances and limitations. Whatever holds us back from being the people of light that God has created us to be, I believe that Jesus frees us from those limitations.
Mark 1:29-39 (CEB)
29After leaving the synagogue, Jesus, James, and John went home with Simon and Andrew. 30Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed, sick with a fever, and they told Jesus about her at once. 31He went to her, took her by the hand, and raised her up. The fever left her, and she served them.
32That evening, at sunset, people brought to Jesus those who were sick or demon-possessed. 33The whole town gathered near the door. 34He healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases, and he threw out many demons. But he didn’t let the demons speak, because they recognized him.
35Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer. 36Simon and those with him tracked him down. 37When they found him, they told him, “Everyone’s looking for you!”
38He replied, “Let’s head in the other direction, to the nearby villages, so that I can preach there too. That’s why I’ve come.” 39He traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and throwing out demons.
Consider these questions:
- Who do you believe that God has created you to be? Who do you talk about this with? God? A trusted friend or spouse? How have you discerned this?
- Are you living out this vision of who God has created you to be? Or are you feeling held back?
- How might you experience Jesus bringing a release of limitations for you?
Post-Sermon Follow Up on 2/6
Audio from the sermon can be heard below, and video can be found by clicking this link (will open in a new tab).
Sunday’s message was basically this:
- The love of God in Jesus Christ transforms us. It makes us more than we are on our own. And if we don’t know that transformation in some way at our core, we may need to go into a pretty deep exploration of our faith.
- If/when we recognize we are transformed, do we do anything with it? It seems clear that God wants us to participate in the transformation of the world. So we have to respond.
- Sometimes the response is to rise up beyond our station, beyond our circumstances, beyond our limitations, beyond the social systems.
- And sometimes the response must be to rise up in support and care for those who cannot do so on their own. And this looks like speaking up and advocating and encouraging and more.
Consider these questions:
- Think about your transforming moment, the time or situation or circumstance when you claimed your faith for your own. Consider sharing this story with a loved one or in a group. Also, listen for these stories from others.
- How have you felt like the world or culture or circumstance has tried to limit you or hold you back? How has your transformation equipped you to rise up beyond this? Be specific. Consider discussing this with a loved one or in a group. Also listen to what your conversation partner(s) may say. Do any of these things compliment one another?
- How have you seen the world or culture or circumstance try to limit or hold back others? How has your transformation equipped you to rise up for others? Be specific. Consider discussing this with a loved one or in a group. Also listen to what your conversation partner(s) may say. Do any of these things compliment one another?