Thursday, July 16, 2015

Pentecost 8 - Proper 11

Proper 11
Mark 6:30-34
July 19, 2015
It's more than enough

One of life’s major mistakes is being the last member of the family to get the flu – After all the compassion has run out. It is often true. That a lot of our compassion is wasted on ourselves.  Or, that we are compassionate. As long as it costs us nothing. In our Gospel lesson, we learn of someone who is not like us. We see Christ who has a passion for compassion.

Jesus - His heart goes out to us. He is compassionate. Because He knows all your needs.

Your Lord knows His sheep.  You are His. You are a sheep of His fold. A lamb of His flock. A sinner of His own redeeming. He knows your physical needs. He knows what you need. And how you need it.

 Jesus said, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore, do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore, do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – 

He knows you personally.  David prays, “Search my O God, You know my heart.” 

                O LORD, you have searched me and known me!
                You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
                                You discern my thoughts from afar.
                You search out my path and my lying down
                                And are acquainted with all my ways.
                Even before a word is on my tongue,
                                Behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.

Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
In your book were written, every one of them,
The days that were formed for me,
When as yet there was none of them.

Jesus knew His disciples were tired. He directed them to go to a desolate place where they could be alone and rest.  He was looking out for them. Giving them rest. So they could continue to minister to the world. 

While wondering in the desert the Father provided manna. He gave them water that flowed from the rocks to His chosen people the Israelites, so they would not parish in the desert.  In the Garden of Eden He provided Adam and Eve with a garden full of food. 

These blessing do not stop. We live in this modern world. True, we no longer have bread falling from the sky.  God our Creator has given us the ability to harvest the very earth to produce food that will nourish and sustain us. Many of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen by trade. They lived off what the sea provide them.  We have been endowed with the ability to manipulate our surrounding environment to best suit our needs.  This is the world of our Great Creator. Jesus had such compassion that he feed them all. 5,000 men. Plus women and children. With leftovers to spare.    It was more than enough. He fills their stomachs.  He nourished their souls. (vv.31, 35-44) 

When He saw the crowd, He felt compassion. He saw them as lost sheep. In need of a Shepherd.  His heart went out to them. This compassion moves Him to action.

He shepherds His flock.  Then, He saw the crowds who were seeking him.  He taught them.  They needed Him and His teaching.  He revealed Himself as their true Shepherd by proclaiming Good News.  By leading with His Word, “He began to teach them many things” (v. 34)

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” — 

It’s more than enough. He saves you.  By going to the cross. Bearing your sin. Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Redemption by crucifixion is the Savior’s supreme act of compassion – for you.

Christ’s forgiveness – purchased and won for you at the cross – this is Christ’s compassion for you. The forgiving king cancelled the liability of his debt.  And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.  Matthew 18:27. The waiting father, had compassion on his son – But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. Luke 15:20

Compassion. What a beautiful description of Christ’s attitude toward you. To sheep who are prone to wander and often find themselves lost and hurt, it is good news that we have a Shepherd who pours out His heart to us and who poured out His blood for us.

Words –1,035
   Passive Sentences –7%
   Readability –86.1
   Reading Level – 3.7

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