So the past two weeks we’ve been looking at texts
that inspire us to think about an unbreakable bond we have with God:
that God Loves Us, and there Ain’t Anything we can do about it.
This section of Mark introduces us to an active, serving, loving, healing Jesus.
Jesus has begun his ministry and he’s wasting no time, really.
Immediately, Mark tells us, Jesus sets out and starts
inviting people to talk about God and to think about God
and to do things that might matter to God.
It takes some effort to not get sidetracked at the supernatural language
of demons and exorcism, but if we can avoid that,
we see Jesus engaged in a healing ministry
of deep importance and significance
This Jesus, wandering the Galilean country side
offering words of peace, words of calm
laying on his hands
and mending where things are broken
it caused people to flock to Jesus from all over
so much so that the crowds were getting a bit…unbearable
This Jesus bore them, though, the crowds. All of them.
Because he loved the people.
Because he wanted to see them get well.
And when his opponents challenged him
and his family encouraged him to come inside for safety
he gently said, “no, these too are my family”
they need me here.
And we explored what that meant,
in particular for those experiencing depression
but really for all of us:
God loves them, too,
and there ain’t nothing they can do about it…
And then last week,
we looked at some of Jesus’ gardening parables:
seeds scattered, seeds growing,
the smallest, most insignificant of which
may well grow into something extraordinary
and, you know, extraordinary but maybe not something
particularly meaningful for you, or for me,
but certainly meaningful for God.
By extension, we reminded ourselves that
if we feel small, if we feel insignificant,
if we’re not sure what our purpose is
God our Gardener, tending, weeding, pruning
watering, helping us grow even through those tough spurts.
In an age where it seems that
the superficial matters so much more to people than the heart
it sometimes is helpful to remember the one
who sticks with us, with patience and fortitude
from the day we are planted
until the day we are done
Two weeks where we’ve been reminded of God’s unbreakable bond of love with us.
God’s acting to make all things new, to grow new shoots out of bleak soil.
And then comes today’s texts, after this past week,
which for so many in our country has been tumultuous: