Aloha Friday Message – June 8, 2018 – Site Unseen

1823AFC060818 – Site Unseen (↔ Music Link)

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Mark 3:35 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.

Psalm 116:10 10 I kept my faith, even when I said, “I am greatly afflicted”

 

E pili mau na pomaika‘i ia ‘oe a me ke akua ho’omaika‘i ‘oe, ʻŌmea! (May blessing always be with you and may God bless you, Beloved!) Did you try it already? If you did, then you know something about where we’re going this morning. If you didn’t try it, why not? Go ahead and try it now. ( the ↔ Music Link  up there in the title )

Yes, that is the “site unseen.” We don’t know what it looks like, we don’t know its location, but we know how to get there – at least we think we do. Today we’re going to do some probing around in the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians. There are gobs and gobs of golden gems in that letter – like “we have this treasure in earthen vessels.” (See 2 Corinthians 4:7) and “the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (See 2 Corinthians 3:17). You’ll also find a heavy dose of Music Links; all of them are really great!

Let’s begin with the quote from the Gospel of Mark. In this passage, Jesus has been teaching a crowd of folks in his home town. Some Pharisees have come up from Jerusalem to check out this new street-preacher. His family and friends hear that he’s talking about things people don’t understand. He told the crowds to repent and believe the Gospel. He had driven out demons and healed the illnesses of many persons. He healed a paralyzed man whose friends had lowered him through the roof, and – in the process – told him “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” That got the crowd stirred up! They asked “By whose authority do you forgive sins?” Jesus challenged them, “Which is easier, to say ‘your sins are forgiven’ or ‘get up, take you mat, and walk’? Then he turned to the young man and directed him to do just that – get up and walk away.

In the Capernaum synagogue, he healed a man with a withered arm on the Sabbath. He appointed twelve Apostles – men who would share in his ministry and be his representatives as they traveled together. He and the Apostles were traveling extensively through the region of Galilee, and they had become that region’s “Fast Breaking News.” Word of his activities reached his home town of Nazareth, and his mom and some of his family went down to see what was going on. They were thinking maybe he was behaving irrationally because of what he was saying and doing; the reports they got “back home” were alarming. “Maybe he’s gone off the deep end with all this attention! He himself may have an unclean spirit!” The place where he was teaching was so crowded they couldn’t get near him, so they sent word that they wanted to talk to him. Perhaps his reply only confirmed their fears: “Who are my mother and my brothers?” then he pointed to the crowd and said, “Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” As he was teaching, he was also relieving the afflictions of others – and in his day, that allowed them to reenter society and family. The Psalmist said he kept his faith even in times of affliction. Jesus was establishing faith where faith seemed impossible – in the shunned and marginalized members of the community.

Very early on in his ministry, then, Jesus laid the foundation for the community of Family in God. We become members of that family by doing the will of God, and who better to show us the will of God than the Son of God? What did he show us?

Jesus showed us, through his teaching and actions, that the will of God is to love God and neighbor; we are to love God so much that knowing God intimately as Family is as easy as knowing our brothers and sisters and parents. Why? Why is that important? Why does God want us in his family? Answer: God ALWAYS wants us in his family. That’s why he gave us a way to rejoin his family in the perfection of his Presence. We’re supposed to be as intimately present with him as were Adam and Eve before that darn serpent showed up! And where are we supposed to rejoin that family circle which will eventually be unbroken again? Yes! There! In that site unseen, Heaven! This world is not our destination or our home. And yes, that is why that super big hint is at the top of the message. This world is not our home.

My Home is Heaven. I don’t know where it is, but I know I’m getting closer. I was born a long way from Home, but that doesn’t matter – I’m on my way, and as I go, my way is made clearer and easier every time I remember how to be Family: Whoever does the will of God. God’s will is that I serve him by serving others. It’s so simple that it sounds crazy, but not the kind of crazy the folks in Capernaum were thinking – crazy like demon-possessed. It’s crazy like un-worldly. In these crazy times, we do best in life when we shun The World. It’s time for us to act crazy – as The World sees it. ‘Ain’t it great to be crazy? (↔ Music Link)

And now it’s time for even more music! Please, please, please – play these songs!

The Servant Song “Will you let me be your servant? (↔ Music Link)

Servant Song (McGargill) “I am Your song and servant.” (↔ Music Link)

Normally, instead of “site unseen,” we say “sight unseen” as if we haven’t seen it but know it as if blind but somehow sighted. We can be blinded by the World. In fact, the World cannot perceive the Gospel because it remains hidden to them – behind a veil as it were – and when we share the Gospel people say of us “S/he must be out of her/his mind!” BUT we have such a humongous hope, the hope of rejoining that unbroken circle on the Family of God! Here are some additional thoughts from 2 Corinthians:

2 Corinthians 3:12-18 12 Since, then, we have such a hope, we act with great boldness, 13 not like Moses, who put a veil over his face to keep the people of Israel from gazing at the end of the glory that was being set aside. 14 But their minds were hardened. Indeed, to this very day, when they hear the reading of the old covenant, that same veil is still there, since only in Christ is it set aside. 15 Indeed, to this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds; 16 but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed. 17 Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 4:3-4 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Oh, how I long to see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God! Like the blind man at Jericho, my prayer is, “Lord, I want to see!” I want to see with the Eyes of my Heart (↔ Music LinkS) and so I pray – in songOpen My Eyes, Lord (↔ Music Link) “Help me to love like you.” If I could just love like HIM as I serve him by serving the Gospel, ahhhhhhhh, that site-I-cannot-see will be within sight. I will see it in you, Belovéd, even though I’m “just a-passing through.” The angels beckon us through Heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this World any more.

Thank you for your prayers this week! Our three-year-old little sister in Christ is recovering quickly and well! Please continue to support others in prayer by using this link.

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.

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

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About Chick Todd

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

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