Saturday, June 27th

Mark 10:35-45

The Request of James and John

35 Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask.” 36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. 37 They replied, “Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in your glory.” 38 “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “Can you drink the cup I drink or be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with?” 39 “We can,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “You will drink the cup I drink and be baptized with the baptism I am baptized with, 40 but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared.” 41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. 42 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Meditation

45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus had just told the disciples for the third time that he was going to die. It must have had some tone of truth to James and John as they decided it was time to ask Jesus if they could have the places of privilege when the time came for them to be with Jesus in eternity. If we were honest we might like to have those places too, but when we hear Jesus say the words of verse 45 does it not lead us to think any place in eternity with him would be a place of privilege? We will not be able to say we deserve it; simply thank you to him for allowing us to come.

Prayer

Lord we thank you that your son taught us by his example what it really is to love our neighbour. We thank you that you provide us with wonderful and varying gifts to do so. May we not be so bold to ask for a place of privilege, but be joyful with the place that Jesus has prepared for each one of us. Amen.

Friday, June 26th

Mark 10:32-34

Jesus Predicts His Death a Third Time

32 They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. 33 “We are going up to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, 34 who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise.”

Meditation

Was it a prediction? Or was it something different? Jesus knew he was about to die. It might have seemed a prediction the disciples chose to dismiss. Jesus had no doubt he was going to die. It wasn’t a prediction; it was set as God’s remedy for sin and predestined. It must have been hard for our Lord to have friends who would not listen to him when he told them what was going to happen, and they did not understand. Is eternity a prediction or a reality? It depends on whether we believe what Jesus said or simply dismiss it.

Prayer

Lord, we thank you for Jesus and for those who have accepted him. There is no doubt for us that because he lives, we will live too. Let us hear your word and let it touch us with the words of life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Thursday, June 25th

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

17 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’” 20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” 28 Then Peter spoke up, “We have left everything to follow you!” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

Meditation

Why is it that when we ask a question and we get the answer we cannot follow the answer? It does not matter our age. With congregations getting ready to have public services there are and will be methods and ways that will be made to have this happen. Will we be ready to follow these or will we be questioning one or more of the things to be done? Will we be concerned about the needs of all who will come or simply for our self? The rich young ruler had much, and he just could not see the need to give it all up. We will need to give up some things that we normally do, Let us be prepared.

Prayer

Lord. we are looking forward to meeting together again but prepare us to be accepting in the “new normal” that will be our worship. Let us come together with a real sense that we are a family called by Jesus to give ourselves to you in all we say and do. Amen.

Wednesday, June 24th

Mark 10:13-16

The Little Children and Jesus

13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Meditation

There have been times in my ministry when I have been visiting in homes with a family and the children have been sent off to play while I visited with the parents. Sometimes it has been because one or both of the parents had something they wanted to talk to me about but other times it seemed, at least to me, that it was simply something that should be done when the minister came. I remember feeling like Jesus did. I was confused and dismayed and somewhat angry. I have always been amazed at the questions that children ask, and the way they can sum up a situation in very clear and precise ways. The parents that brought their children to Jesus were seeking a special blessing, on their child. Shouldn’t we want that for our children too?

Prayer

Lord, we thank you that you are a caring God, that you know the number of the hairs on our head, and the ways of nature and life, and that you care for the sparrow that falls. We thank you that you care for us and for our children and our grandchildren. Let us not let one fall away because we have been uncaring or dismissive. It is a wonder and an awesome blessing you give us to care for your children. May we do so with the care that Jesus did for we ask this in his name. Amen.

Tuesday, June 23rd

Mark 10:1-12

Divorce

10 Jesus then left that place and went into the region of Judea and across the Jordan. Again crowds of people came to him, and as was his custom, he taught them. Some Pharisees came and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” “What did Moses command you?” he replied. They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.” “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

Meditation

I would like us to focus on verse 5 today “It was because your hearts were hard.” The story begins with Jesus gathering with a crowd again and some Pharisees come to “test him.” Whenever the Pharisees come to test Jesus it is an attempt to put him down, catch him, and get rid of him. Their hardness of heart is to destroy him.

Ray Stedman asks the question “what is the opposite of hardness of heart? It is softness of heart.” When does divorce begin? When there is hardness of heart, there is a breakdown of marriage. When all one can speak of the other is spiteful, angry, and hostile words.

If we think back a few weeks ago when we were sharing the story of Moses, we will remember all through that text Pharaoh was noted as having a hardness of heart.   He had no regard for Israel or for God.

Moses also detected hardness of heart in the people of Israel and divorce was given to the Israelites so that what was going on behind close doors was addressed in a real way. (Stedman)

What is it that causes us to be moved by a “hardened heart?” It is bitterness, envy, pride, all the “deadly sins.”

Let us live to have a soften heart, to regard whoever the other might be as equal to our self, whether it be in marriage, at work, in the church, wherever.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we allow ourselves at times to believe that we are better than others and we say and do things that hurt other people and ourselves. We ask your forgiveness and pray that the leading of the Holy Spirit might give us the qualities of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. We ask this through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, June 22nd

Mark 9:42-50

Causing to Stumble

42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [44] 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. [46]  47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, 48 where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 Everyone will be salted with fire. 50 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt among yourselves, and be at peace with each other.”

Meditation

If you read the text closely you will have noted that verses 44 and 46 are not there. That is because only some of the manuscripts have them and they are the quotation from Isaiah 66:4 which is also given in verse 48 “where “‘the worms that eat them do not die, and the fire is not quenched.’” This is one of those passages in scripture which makes me tremble as a minister in the church. I know I am not responsible for what others do but I am responsible for leading and teaching God’s people about the ways of God revealed to us by Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit. It gives me concern as to whether I always do that. What about times of disagreement and resentment? I believe it is at those moments we really need to look to Jesus and see that no matter who it was that gave him reason for feeling resentment even anger, he presented the way.

Prayer

Gracious God, help us to be gracious in our dealing with all our brothers and sisters whether they be babies, youth or old. As ministers of your word may we be humble, caring, and responsible so as not to lead others astray. In Jesus’ Name we pray.  Amen.

Sunday, June 21st

Bethel Presbyterian Church

3rd Sunday after Pentecost

Announcements

We welcome everyone to this service of worship. Happy Father’s Day to all our fathers.

To the Current Fund

  • In memory of Father, Duncan MacQueen and Father-in-Law, Glendon Hardy by Kathy Hardy

To the Benevolent Fund

  • In memory of Allison Shaw by Harold & Lynn Gillespie
  • In memory of our fathers Donald Hoeg and Robert Lyle by Donna and Bob Lyle

Graduates

Hunter McCall

Has graduated grade 5. Will begin Middle School at Malcom Munroe School in September 

Finley Penny

Has graduated Grade 5 from Coxheath School. Will begin Middle School at Malcolm Munroe School in September

Jenna Gouthro

Has graduated Grade 8 from Sherwood Park Education Center. Will begin High School at Sydney Academy in September

Coady Lewis

Graduate from RHS 2020. Will be attending CBU in the fall of 2020 taking his undergraduate in Community Studies hoping to become a physiotherapist

Jennifer Morgan

Graduate from Sydney Academy 2020. Will be attending CBU in fall taking a BBA majoring in Accounting

Lillianna Morrison 

Graduate with honours from RHS 2020. Will be attending CBU in fall taking her undergraduate in biology

Lesley Jean MacLean, BBA

Graduated from CBU with a Bachelor in Business Administration majoring in Marketing.

Curtis Morgan

Graduated from Achieve Program at NSCC

Mission Moment

World Refugee Day (June 20)

No one chooses to be a refugee. Inspired by God’s promise of abundant life, Presbyterian World Service & Development (PWS&D) envisions a world where no human has to fear for their life or liberty. Refugee sponsorship has enabled refugees from all over the world to find peace, encouragement and stability in a new home. This World Refugee Day, we are thankful for the congregations and groups across Canada who, with support from PWS&D, make refugee sponsorship possible. Together, in 2019, we were able to welcome 77 people. Hand-in-hand we will continue to welcome those in need who are trying to find security and safety.

PWS&D welcomes the stranger

Prayer Partnership

Monday, June 22 We pray for families of those suffering from dementia, that they might find the strength to support their loved one.

Tuesday, June 23 We pray for Pauline Brown, former mission staff to India from 1951 to 2007. May she continue to enjoy good health and the company of good friends.

Wednesday, June 24 God of joy and laughter, give us hearts full of delight at the beauty and surprise of this wonderful world that you have made.

Thursday, June 25 We pray for ministers who are seeking to discern God’s call. May they have a clear sense of God’s leading and a willingness to be open to where God will lead.

Friday, June 26 We pray for Presbyterian church camps that had to close for the summer season due to concerns around the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Saturday, June 27 We pray for the safety and well-being of agricultural workers and all who process, transport, distribute and sell our food.

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Order of Service

Prelude  Schmücke Dich
Call to Worship & Prayer
Hymn Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the king of creation!
O my soul, praise Him, for He is thy health and salvation!
All ye who hear, Now to His temple draw near; joining in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, Who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yea, so gently sustaineth!
Hast thou not seen how thy desires ever have been granted in what He ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, Who doth prosper thy work and defend thee;
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do, if with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him!
All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before Him.
Let the Amen sound from His people again, gladly for aye we adore Him.

Prayer of Confession
Old Testament Lesson Genesis 21:8-21 (NIV)

8 The child grew and was weaned, and on the day Isaac was weaned Abraham held a great feast. 9 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, 10 and she said to Abraham, “Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.” 11 The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. 12 But God said to him, “Do not be so distressed about the boy and your slave woman. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. 13 I will make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.”  14 Early the next morning Abraham took some food and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He set them on her shoulders and then sent her off with the boy. She went on her way and wandered in the Desert of Beersheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she put the boy under one of the bushes. 16 Then she went off and sat down about a bowshot away, for she thought, “I cannot watch the boy die.” And as she sat there, she began to sob. 17 God heard the boy crying, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What is the matter, Hagar? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. 18 Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink. 20 God was with the boy as he grew up. He lived in the desert and became an archer. 21 While he was living in the Desert of Paran, his mother got a wife for him from Egypt.

Responsive Psalm # 86:1-10, 16-17 (NIV)

Hear me, Lord ,  and answer me, for I am poor and needy.
Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;     

3 have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long.
Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you.

You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you.
Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy.

When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.

All the nations you have made will come and worship before you, Lord; they will bring glory to your name.
10 For you are great and do marvelous deeds; you alone are God.

16 Turn to me and have mercy on me; show your strength in behalf of your servant; save me, because I serve you just as my mother did.
17 Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, Lord, have helped me and comforted me.

N.T. Epistle Lesson Romans 6:1b-11 (NIV)

…Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

N.T. Gospel Lesson Matthew 10:24-39 (NIV)

24 “The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master. 25 It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters. If the head of the house has been called Beelzebul, how much more the members of his household! 26 “So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed or hidden that will not be made known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. 28 Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. 32 “Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven. 34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.

Hymn The Power of the Cross

Oh, to see the dawn of the darkest day:
Christ on the road to Calvary tried by sinful men
Torn and beaten, then nailed to a cross of wood

This, the power of the cross: Christ became sin for us;
Took the blame, bore the wrath we stand forgiven at the cross

Oh, to see the pain written on Your face
Bearing the awesome weight of sin every bitter thought
Every evil deed crowning Your bloodstained brow

Now the daylight flees; now the ground beneath
Quakes as its Maker bows His head curtain torn in two
Dead are raised to life; “Finished!” the victory cry

Oh, to see my name written in the wounds
For through Your suffering I am free death is crushed to death;
Life is mine to live won through Your selfless love
This, the power of the cross: Son of God – slain for us
What a love! What a cost! We stand forgiven at the cross

Keith Getty, Stuart Townend Thankyou Music © 2005 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCL! # 505652 Streaming License # 20478338

Sermon: Finding life in the one who gave life
The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth and in Jesus Christ, his Son, our Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost. born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell. The third day he arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn  The Communion Hymn

Behold the Lamb who bears our sins away, slain for us: and we remember:
The promise made that all who come in faith find forgiveness at the cross.
So we share in this Bread of life, and we drink of His sacrifice,
As a sign of our bonds of peace around the table of the King.

The body of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, torn for you: eat and remember
The wounds that heal, the death that brings us life, paid the price to make us one.
So we share in this Bread of Life, and we drink of His sacrifice
As a sign of our bonds of love around the table of the King.

The blood that cleanses every stain of sin, shed for you: drink and remember
He drained death’s cup that all may enter in to receive the life of God.
So we share in this Bread of Life, and we drink of His sacrifice,
As a sign of our bonds of grace around the table of the King.

And so with thankfulness and faith we rise to respond: and to remember
Our call to follow in the steps of Christ as His body here on earth.
As we share in His suffering, we proclaim: Christ will come again!
And we’ll join in the feast of heaven around the table of the King.             

Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend Thankyou Music © 2007 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCL! # 505652 Streaming License # 20478338

Prayer for the People
Invitation to the Lord’s table
The Great Prayer of Thanksgiving
The Communion & Prayer
Closing Hymn  In Christ alone

In Christ alone my hope is found He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace when fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died the wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death this is the pow’r of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath Jesus commands my destiny
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man can ever pluck me from His hand
‘Til He returns or calls me home here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand

Keith Getty, Stuart Townend Thankyou Music © 2001 Thankyou Music (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing) CCL! # 505652 Streaming License # 20478338

Benediction & Choral Amen
Postlude Blaenwern

Saturday, June 20th

Mark 9: 38-41

Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us

38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” 39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.

Meditation

This story deals with status and jealousy and ignorance. The disciples seemed displeased that an “outsider” is driving out demons. There is a jealousy in that, someone doing which at times they could not do. There is an ignorance that keeps appearing throughout this book as once again they do not understand how this could happen. I know I find myself at times where the disciples are in this story. I get envious at people who can speak without a script or someone who can do something I cannot do. I do try to remember that it would be a strange world if God did not give us different gifts. We should not get caught up in looking at what we don’t have and started using what the gifts and talent God has blessed us with.

Prayer

O God help us not to be so wanting that we deny others the opportunity to use the gifts you have given them. Forgive us when we get jealous, and with ignorance express opinions which are not Christ motivated but “me” motivated. Lead us, your people, to work together to do your will. Amen.

Friday, June 19th

Mark 9:30-37

Jesus Predicts His Death a Second Time

30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. 35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” 36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

Meditation

One more time Jesus tries to prepare the disciples to the fact that he is going to die and that he is going to rise from the dead. Once again, they do not understand. A discussion among themselves follows as to who is the greatest among them. Jesus presents a child to them and says all should be welcoming, and in doing so, they are welcoming him.

Prayer

Lord, we make so many walls to divide ourselves and when someone speaks like Jesus spoke to the disciples. we are either confrontational – left wondering – walking away. It can be something that we did not get that we thought we should have, like the disciples discussing who was the greatest among them. It could be that we do not see the other person or group of people as understanding who you are as well as “I” “we” do so they can not be a part of “my”, “our” family. If you were a dismissive God, none of us would belong. Help us to be as caring and loving as you are in Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Thursday, June 18th

Mark 9:14-29

Jesus Heals a Boy Possessed by an Impure Spirit

14 When they came to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and the teachers of the law arguing with them. 15 As soon as all the people saw Jesus, they were overwhelmed with wonder and ran to greet him. 16 “What are you arguing with them about?” he asked. 17 A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. 18 Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid. I asked your disciples to drive out the spirit, but they could not.” 19 “You unbelieving generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy to me.” 20 So they brought him. When the spirit saw Jesus, it immediately threw the boy into a convulsion. He fell to the ground and rolled around, foaming at the mouth. 21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?” “From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.” 23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” 25 When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up. 28 After Jesus had gone indoors, his disciples asked him privately, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?” 29 He replied, “This kind can come out only by prayer.”

Meditation

Did you ever go away and then come home and everything seemed to be in chaos? This seems to be the case in this lesson as Jesus, Peter. James and John return from the transfiguration and find a “scene” going on. A man has come to the other disciples to have his son healed. The disciples are unable to heal him so he turns to Jesus. Notice his attitude in asking Jesus, “If you can…” Jesus tells him he needs to believe. The man gives an honest answer, “I believe, help me overcome my unbelief. ” Note also that Jesus says it take prayer for healing too. I can’t tell you how many times or how many many different places people have thanked me for my prayers and how many times I have been thankful for the prayers of others. It is the least we can do; it is the most we can do.

Prayer

In coming to you today, Lord, we know how great a gift prayer is and we are deeply thankful that we can use it at anytime, and in anyplace. It doesn’t matter how long it is or how short, we know that you know the intentions of the prayer even if we can not find the words. Help us to be a prayerful people and to believe. Help our unbelief through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.