Wednesday, 25 April 2012

25th April 2012 Mark 13:5-13 Mark the Evangelist

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. “You must be on your guard. You will be handed over to the local councils and flogged in the synagogues. On account of me you will stand before governors and kings as witnesses to them. And the gospel must first be preached to all nations. Whenever you are arrested and brought to trial, do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child. Children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.

Seeing as how I preached on this scripture, and also Proverbs 15:28-end, Psalm 119:9-16 and Ephesians 4:7-16, at communion this morning I thought I'd share my brief notes I spoke from rather than making a separate thought post. Enjoy.

Brief history of St Mark
Mark the Evangelist was one of the Seventy Apostles who were sent out by Jesus to saturate Judea with the gospel before his crucifixion (Luke 10:1). His path was not straight forward though. It is recorded in the 2nd and 3rd centuries by Hippolytus that Mark turned away from Jesus, with many other disciples when Jesus explained about the bread being his flesh and the wine being his blood (John 6:44-66). Mark was later restored to faith by Peter; and this was when Mark became Peter’s interpreter and wrote the Gospel of Mark. He went on ti found the church of Africa and became the bishop of Alexandria. According to Eusebius, Mark was succeeded by Annianus as the bishop of Alexandria in AD 62, probably, but not definitely due to his coming death.

Key parts of scriptures for me:
Proverbs - Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

Ephesians - Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ

Mark - Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit

Mark's message to us
Mark had three messages of how to get closer to Jesus:
1 - obedience and self-denial
2 - service to others
3 - mission to all people

All Christians are called to evangelise the world. Some of this comes through the act of our heart, some from our words and the rest from our actions.

As we serve others we bring the reality of Christ's love to them. As we deny ourselves we show what we value most in life. And as we act out God's mission in the world we bring Jesus alive.

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