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Posts Tagged christian living

Luke 10:1-11, 16-20 Peace to this House JUMC 20130702

Everywhere Missionary

Everywhere Missionary

10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.’ 16 “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” 17 The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” 18 He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. 19 See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. 20 Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

[NRSV]

First this passage is an encouragement to the three mission teams we are supporting this month and the team of folks working at CERF and Smart Kids, Smart Lunch.

The number of folks willing to be available to take on a personal mission is limited. This is the heart of our Everywhere Missionary program.

The instruction is given the book-ends of encouragement and inspiration.

  • On one hand there is the encouragement to know that we are going where Christ is preparing to go.
  • Not everyone will be ready nor receptive
  • The measure of successful mission is not in the number of people served, but in the willingness to go out to where the people are rather than wait for them to come to us.
  • And instructions are given for both the open hearts and the closed minds.

I enjoy baseball and one of things I like about the game is that the successful players are celebrated for getting a hit thirty percent of the time.

  • Jesus knows the six dozen folks that are going on this mission will not always see great things.
  • But the reports that return are the success stories.

Think about the Braves, the end of the game wrap up is not how many times Freddy, Simpson, and McCain struck out. They talk about the hits, doubles and home runs.

But with the successes come plenty of strike outs and errors.

We come to the table of Christ, where disciples gather for encouragement and inspiration

Not because we are successful but rather because we have sinned, failed and find ourselves striking out.

 Challenge:

Each of us have the opportunity to be on Christ’s mission..

Will go Go where Christ is preparing to be or sit this one out?

 

Everywhere Missionary EverywhereBrochure_20130501

  • Pray Daily
  • Do at least 1 item from the Mission Calendar* Weekly
  • Read and Write Monthly
  • Give or Volunteer Annually
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Mark 10:35-45 “Wishing to be First” JUMC 20121021

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”  But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”  They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.” When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” [NRSV]

Greatness

Ringling Bros Circus prides itself in having the greatest show on earth. It’s impressive and big, but is it the greatest? 

Tony the Tiger believes his Frosted Flakes are Great! I think Honey bunches of Oats are even better.

Olympics 1996, member and friend volunteer repairing the hand rail going up to the Olympic Caldron the night of the opening games. The torch arriving and he is duct taping at the last second. Turns around in the shadow, literally inches off camera and facing Mohamed Ali. The Greatest.

Greatness is not something that everyone seeks. In fact we could make a case that most folks want to stay out of the spotlight. Looking at the text, ten disciples are angry with two for raising the bar. If we are being evaluated or compared to our piers we don’t want them to do better than us because that would make us look bad.  We have an unwritten pack to reach for the middle or even the lowest common denominator. 

 Jesus’ word is not to go looking for Greatness. 

 It will follow your trust and service.

 Don’t set out with the intention to beat the system. 

 The life of discipleship (Being a Christian) is not to won or lost, it 

 Is received as part of the relationship with God.

 Got Glory?

We may not all long to be the top of the heap or the head of the pack, but who does not enjoy a long shower of glory and praise?

We like to be recognized, praised and appreciated. 

We like seeing our name in the paper, (as long as its not bad news)

We like it when folks think we are “good people.” No one wants a bad reputation. (Notorious: Famous for being bad)

What would we do to be liked? Children learn at a young age that test and temptation of doing right or wrong to be “in” or “cool.”

Even as adults who say they don’t want attention or credit, we have an uncomfortable knot in the stomach when someone takes credit for good that we, or someone else, has done. 

Looking at the text, Jesus looks to the disciples and says: “You don’t know what you are asking.” 

It is both encouraging and affirming to have others praise what we do, but if we set out to be praised as our goal, then our efforts are empty. 

Glory is the by-product of good that is has been done. This is true of God’s glory or our own.  But if we set out to do good things with the hope and goal of receiving glory.. we find the work empty.

Why? If we go looking for the fruit without caring for the tree we have a meal but not a livelihood. Greatness and Glory comes from service..

A Life of Service, comes first.

Jesus uses the disciples struggle as a teaching point:

First: Don’t worry about being first in line. Work diligently to serve and greatness will follow

And: Don’t do it for the praise, the deduction or the credit and you will find joy, credit and the prize that service builds.

The last shall be first: it is a common theme in the gospels..

Why do we need to hear it repeated?

  • We don’t have to tell people we are not looking for greatness/ glory/ credit/ praise/ approval/ when we actually are doing just that.
  • We don’t have to qualify and apologize for acts of service or humility. They don’t need explaining or defending.
  • As followers, we are disciples, those who are learning and developing what it means to be committed, trusting, disciplined in the path of Jesus.

Conclusions:

Greatness comes from the Greatest.. Seek God not greatness

Glory and Praise are motivators… don’t seek them as the goal

Service: is the ideas and words of our faith in actions.. that shape the type of relationship we have with each other and God.

God comes to save the least, last and lost.. The rest of us know to follow, trust and love shown in Jesus Christ. 

 So lets’ get to the back of the line.

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