Aloha Friday Message – February 9, 2018 – Follow The Leader

1806AFC020918 – Follow The Leader

Read it online here, please. And please, when you visit there, use one of the social media links at the bottom of the page to share this post. Thank you! And remember, we now have a READER VIEW available, so share this link or this email often.

Excerpt from Mark 6:30-46 30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.”

Mark 1:40-41 40 A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” 41 Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean!” (Follow the link to also see the New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE) version of this passage)

1 Corinthians 11:1 Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! Are you ready for a Hymn Sing? When I was a teenager – age 15 – 18 – I was in Christian Endeavor. We used to have kids from all over Denver and many other places in Colorado come together by the hundreds about once a month just to sing hymns together. It was wonderful! I don’t know of anyone or anywhere that is still done; let me know if you do, though, OK? I ask if you are ready for a Hymn Sing because I plan on sticking a bunch of (↔ Music Link) signals in this post. Let’s start off with that excerpt from Mark 6:30-46.

Last week in our lesson on Capernaum, we looked at how Jesus would go off on his own and pray in a deserted place. We certainly do need to get out of the rat-race rut these days and just spend a little quiet quality time with Jesus. We can trust him to sit there quietly with us, and perhaps he might quietly speak a Word of Wisdom to us, or give us a little knowledge, and insight into his life and ours. So, as we did last week, let’s retreat to a quiet place and prayerfully read his Word and sing his praise.

We go away to a place of rest to compose our hearts and minds in God. Some of us feel convicted by our sin and wish to join in the Sacraments to set our lives aright. Some of us feel the necessity of “being religious,” and some appreciate the fellowship with others whose religious aspirations and views match ours. Some of us feel the joy of friendships and some of us feel shunned by the hypocrites around us. Some of us believe we are better at complying with the practices of worship and praise – we recite, gesture, sing, listen, and nod appreciatively on cue – and some of us think that the people around us are superficial religious nuts who have no idea about the depth of faith in our own hearts. If we look at all of these traits of the people at church, we see that we are a microcosm of humanity very much like the crowds – including The Twelve and Jesus’ closest disciples – who were the foreshadowing of the Kingdom of God and The Church of today.

In that sense, we recognize – or at the very least, we should suspect – that we are a work in progress. We are aware of our own imperfections (even if we don’t always fess up to them), and sometimes we are (regrettably) more acutely aware of the imperfections of others both in the assembly and outside in the World. For whatever reason we have for being in church, we come as we are even though we may not exhibit our true selves. Perhaps from time to time we pray or sing “Just As I am.” (↔ Music Link)  And sometimes, if we lift up our hearts and minds in prayer, we acknowledge our sins and repent, calling on our Lord and Savior to cleanse us from the things that keep us at the threshold of the Gates of Heaven as fully-participative citizens of the Kingdom of God. We may, on occasion, become so in tune with what God wants from his servants that we cry out “Here I am, Lord.” (↔ Music Link) There, in church, we are inspired by the people, things, and actions around us to do as Jesus invites: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” In the tabernacle of our hearts, we go to that inner closet where only God sees the real person that we are. Once we have placed our attention in the presence of God, we are ready to take a meal together; we feast on the Word and The Presence of Christ. But how do we get to the Presence of Christ? Can it only be in a church pew that we find him? Christ is always with us, but are we always with him? Recall Isaiah 55:6 Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near.

Going with the Lord is not difficult if we make up our minds to be where he is when he is there. HUH? Maybe this will help: I have decided to follow Jesus (↔ Music Link). Jesus asks his Disciples to follow him. How are we going to do that if we don’t look for him? We have to follow Jesus. Why? Because when he calls us, we belong to him! Now I belong to Jesus (↔ Music Link) isn’t just a “pretty thought;” it’s a reality once you go wherever he goes. He leads, and we follow because he is the Good Shepherd: John 10:14-18 14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. 17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.” Saviour Like a Shepherd Lead Us (↔ Music Link) now, you are probably beginning to get the idea of what a Hymn Sing is like!

Certainly we want to follow Jesus! He invites us over and over to do just that:

Matthew 16:24 24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”

John 1:35-37 35 The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.

John 8:12 12 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”

Some days we have problems in this era with trusting our leaders to lead us to safety, prosperity, and well-being. We wonder if they are reliable. We wonder, sometimes, if they are sane. But Jesus is another story. He is easy to trust because he is God, and there is a sweetness in trusting in God. Remember Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good; happy are those who take refuge in him! It is why we sing ‘Tis so sweet in Jesus and Jesus Loves Me (That’s not a Music link, but this is).

 

He is calling me, calling you, calling us to follow him. Let’s go already! Like the Apostle Peter said in 1 Peter 2:21-25 21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. 22 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.” [See Isaiah 53:9] 23 When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Come on, let’s sing together as we go together and Follow The Leader! You take his hand (↔ Music Link); I’ll take your other hand and go with you!    ♥

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever — at your service, Belovéd!

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Type answer *

Pages Email Newsletter Categories Archives Connect