Will we answer the call?
”Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits.
These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.”
They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.Mark 6: 7 - 13
Key Features of Pattern
- One of the key features of the pattern of our discipleship is that we are a sent people; sent to share the gospel message in word and action.
- This may feel difficult but the only reason that we have a church today is that the first disciples and many generations of disciples after them have continued to share the Christian faith.
Will we take up the challenge of Jesus in the gospel to be sent?
- A newspaper ad, widely attributed to Ernest Shackleton on his 1914 attempt to reach the South Pole – although no one has ever actually found the original, I won’t let the truth get in the way of a good illustration:
”‘Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.’Ernest Shackleton, Daily Mail Advert
- By all accounts, he was inundated with requests to join the team.
God still calls.
- The Consecration of the new Bishop of Lancaster, Jill Duff, this week and the Ordination of Deacons and Priests remind us that God still calls people to serve the Church and His Kingdom.
- Bishops, Priests, and Deacons are called to share the gospel and to lead God’s people in this task. He Declaration of Assent in the Ordination service reminds us that:
‘the church is called upon to proclaim afresh in each generation the unchanging faith revealed in Scripture.’
We must find creative ways to respond to this call.
- At St.John’s this week we hosted students from the Christian Union and heard how students have come to faith through their work in their mission week.
- We hosted students from Ripley who helped to clean-up the graveyard showing faith through action;
- we held the Jetsons gig with people coming into our church who have never been inside the building before.
- However unnerving it may be to share the Christian faith and whatever ways we find to proclaim afresh our unchanging faith in this and future generations, the good news is that we don’t do it alone because God empowers us with the Holy Spirit to fulfil the task.
- Will we answer the call to be sent by Him even if the journey is hazardous and the terrain is unwelcoming?
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