Posts Tagged #benotafriad

Mark 16:1-8 Near Sunrise Easter 2021

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb.  They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to any one, for they were afraid. [NRSA: MK 16:1-8]

The Garden Tomb, Jerusalem, 2014

The oldest copies of Mark’s gospel end at this point in the story of Jesus. It is important that we have read all of Mark’s gospel to fully appreciate why the stories stops with fear, instead of joy and celebration. In quick summary, in Mark’s account, Jesus repeatedly tells the disciples to not tell anyone when they experience a divine revealing of God at work.

  • Mark 1:34 And He healed many who were ill with various diseases and cast out many demons; and He was not permitting the demons to speak, because they knew who He was.
  • Mark 1:44 and He *said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
  • Mark 3:12 And He earnestly warned them not to tell who He was.
  • Mark 5:43 And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat.
  • Mark 7:24 Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice.
  • Mark 7:36 And He gave them orders not to tell anyone; but the more He ordered them, the more widely they continued to proclaim it.
  • Mark 8:26 And He sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
  • Mark 8:30 And He warned them to tell no one about Him.
  • Mark 9:9 As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus expressly order them not to tell anyone what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead.
  • Mark 9:30 From there they went out and began to go through Galilee, and He did not want anyone to know about it.
  • Mark 11:33 Answering Jesus, they *said, “We do not know.” And Jesus *said to them, “Nor will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

11 times Jesus said:

  • Don’t speak,
  • say nothing,
  • do not tell,
  • no one is to know,
  • no escape,
  • do not tell anyone,
  • Do not enter,
  • tell no one,
  • do not tell anyone,  
  • he did not want anyone to know,
  • nor will I tell you.

Until the Resurrection:

Until Mark 16, Until Mary stands before him Risen from the Dead

NOW Go Tell! Go tell the Disciples. Go tell the world.

BUT

They said nothing.

The single most significant news to tell the world and once hearing it, they went home filled with terror and fear.

 And they said nothing.

Now we know from history and the fact that we have gathered yet again for as many years as we are old on the anniversary of this morning, but the question of the year is this:

  • Who have you specifically told about news of Jesus’s gift of salvation?
  • Who have told, that has not already heard, about the eternity part of our life that is not over at the point our heart stops beating, our spirit, our soul, the true person that we are will continue to live, just as Jesus is alive.
  • Who have your individually told about the news that even if we have sinned, messed up, screwed up all the plans, God so loves us that Jesus has died for those sins, and has over-come the barrier that seizes the world with fear and terror.

Death has gone out of business because of Easter and the Resurrection, for those who claim the life Christ has died to give us.

More important in 2021, is who will you tell?

  • Who will you tell today?
  • Who will you tell tomorrow,
  • who will you tell as long as you have breathe to tell?
  • This is reason we have gathered, to hear the story once again and to respond to today’s call to GO TELL,

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere, Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is Risen!

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John 6.13-21 Why Are You Afraid? 20150726 RSUMC

Woman damaged house and holding her head with both hands

Be not afraid?

So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.” When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself. When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going. [NRSV]

I love this passage, but it is so much more powerful remembering the setting and context of the storm on the sea.

On the Tail of Miraculous Blessing: 12 Baskets for 12 Disciples

  • Think of the times that God has blessed us in the past.
  • Remembering the witnesses of our past and others.
  • Keeping our current storm in the context of where God has guided us before.
  • If we look only at the storm in the present, we see only the fear, grief and lack of control.

Life in the Storm:  What are our current storms?

  • Politics
  • Racism
  • Terrorism
  • Economic
  • Marriage and Divorce
  • Drugs
  • Grief
  • That is a good starting list..

This is why we start with the context of where God has been revealed in the past.

Time to make a list of 12 examples where God has blessed, loved, forgiven, showed-up in our lives:

  1. God showed up in the backyard of a house church in Monterrey, Mexico and called me to preach.
  2. God showed up in the worship service and fellowship at Camp Glisson in the rock chapel.
  3. God showed up to surround me in love through my father and grandmothers and a dozen churches.
  4. God showed up to broaden my heart and mind in seminary study and worship.
  5. God showed in the lives of children in Peru, Brazil, Venezuela, Honduras, Moscow
  6. God shows up nudging me to pray, call, contact within two hours
  7. God showed in ideas that I think are my own but God reveals them to you and when you share them, I am confirmed.
  8. God shows us when someone is looking for God to speak and I have nothing to say and God’s words come rolling out.
  9. God shows us to convict, cleanse and correct when I have messed up.
  10. God shows up when I pray asking for direction
  11. God shows up when I put myself in a place of listening and reflection
  12. God shows up when I lay aside my mind and worries and come to worship and praise.

Making the a List as an act of preparing for my storms and your storms.

The disciples did not ask for faith lesson, they were tired, needed a retreat-vacation and the work interrupted,

and when much needed break was in order, they are overwhelmed by a life-threatening storm.

Jesus is in the storm with them.

When they invite Jesus in, the storm is over.

The Lesson: The sooner we invite Jesus in the boat, the less time fear leads our lives.

To go back to the list of fears:

  1. Politics: We can’t be ostriches, we must be involved leaders and prophets
  2. Racism: What builds our community and what divides us?
  3. Terrorism: We love the person but denounce the behavior
  4. Economic: Discern where our heart/faith clings fast?
  5. Marriage: Are we Godly, not only at the wedding, but throughout the relationship
  6. Divorce: Acknowledge marriage is sometime not repairable, but angry people are hurting all around
  7. Drugs: This is maybe the biggest storm that affects our families
  8. Grief: Loss of loved ones
  9. Death/End times: What is our part in the larger story? Where is our foundation? Where is our love in loss?

This is a time, as disciples, we need to encourage instead of judge, gossip and distance ourselves. 

  • Remember where God shows up, Reminds us we are never alone.
  • Remember we are in this together and need each others support.
  • Remember the storms are coming, but in Christ, we will make it through.

Angels announced: Be Not Afraid, God is here.

Emmanuel: God is with us!

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