Monday, November 28, 2011

Maybe it’s time we all became lords of our time and dedicate it to God.

New Testament Challenge – Day 14
Mark 1-11

It really struck me today how different the Gospel accounts can actually be. Having finished Matthew last week, and teaching Matthew in our weekly Bible study, Mark caught me as being very different as we read the first half of it today. I already knew of the difference but when one is expected to write or teach about something, one uses deeper observation – I suppose…

In today’s readings we hear healing after healing after healing and miracle after miracle – 10 identified healings not including references to, “And as many as touched Him were made well,” and at four other miracles of nature such as walking on water, calming the storms and feeding thousands of people with a few loaves of bread. St Mark clearly wants us to understand and embrace the awesome power of God.

Sprinkled among the healings and other miracles, like salt in a stew, we hear the deeper teachings of Christ.

I think for me this is what struck me today because it seems more “life-like” than the other Gospels. What I mean to say is that while we Orthodox Christians don’t bother ourselves theologically speaking with the exact chronology of the events in the Gospel, we do teach the deeper benefit of the information in the Gospel. In other words, the fact that the “Cleansing of the Temple” occurs early in the Gospel of John and later in Mark does not mean there were two events. It merely accounts for the emphasis each is placing in the presentation of the material.

For me Mark seems more “life-like” in the sense of OUR life today. We spend our lives going from one thing to another in our busy lives and don’t always have time to sit and read and learn. Many of us have to receive our spiritual nourishment, like salt in a stew, sprinkled throughout the day. I’m not suggesting that we shouldn’t learn to slow down and spend time with God. If you have been reading my blog for a while you know how I feel about the worldly distractions and our lack of desire to place time with God as a priority. I AM suggesting that God reaches us where we are – busy or not – and hopes for some sort of connection. The real question is, “what then?” What is our reaction to being touched by God? Do we then just remain buried by the distraction of secular life or do we take control of our life and dedicate it for God.

Maybe this is the lesson of the healing our Lord desires for us, me anyway, to receive from today’s reading. Resting on the Sabbath was to give time for people to slow down and spend time with God. It wasn’t designed to be Lord over man where even healing one’s brother was considered sinful. “The Sabbath is made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” (Mark 2.27-28)

Maybe it’s time we all became lords of our time and dedicate it to God.

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