Commentary on the Gospel of
The scripture readings today speak to me about humility, service and God’s power. In 1 Peter we are told to, “clothe yourselves with humility” and “Cast all your worries upon him because he cares for you”. The psalmist proclaims, “For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord”. In Mark, Jesus tells the disciples to “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel” and those who believe “will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover”.
Peter warns, “Be sober and vigilant. Your opponent the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your brothers and sisters throughout the world undergo the same sufferings.”
It’s interesting that many people who believe in God do not believe in the Devil. I’m sure that is how the Devil likes it. In the fight for our hearts, the Devil will not fight fair and certainly does not care about any rules. The Devil may be a roaring lion, but the Good News is we know someone who is all powerful.
Each Sunday my wife and I take a neighbor to church. She is literally a little, old lady with no means of transportation. On a recent Sunday, when I picked her up, she was accompanied by her great grandson. I thought I would be cute and asked him, to what do we owe this honor? The young man responded without blinking an eye, my dad doesn’t want me. I wish I could tell you that I responded with something bright, cheery and reassuring. Instead, I winced and in stunned silence I helped him into the van and drove to church. How do we get past the feeling that we are helpless or incapable when faced with such pain and despair?
I am currently training to be a Stephen Minster. A one-on-one ministry where I try to help someone going through a tough time in life. The training involves lots of reading, classes, role playing, videos, etc. We are taught to recognize depression, know when to involve a mental health professional, the importance of confidentiality, etc. But it basically shakes down to simply being there. Be present, listen and let God work. I am not there to “fix” anyone. To be blunt, I don’t know that I am qualified to fix anything, let alone anyone. I am definitely one of those guys with a plank in my own eye and I know it. So, if I am broken, how can I possibly help someone else who is broken? Well, the great thing about this ministry is I bring Jesus with me. It isn’t about me, it is about what God can do through me.
There is a haunting and beautiful song out right now by Casting Crowns entitled, Broken Together. It is about marriage, but it could just as well be about all of us. We are a broken people. However, that does not mean we are powerless to help others and work together for God’s glory.
My prayer today is for those of us who feel inadequate, incapable or overwhelmed when it comes to helping God’s children. That we would be prayerful and bold when tapping into God’s power.