Sunday 10 June – Mission Support Sunday

Readings:  Mark 3:20-35

Today our focus is on the task of the church to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Over the past weeks as we have celebrated Easter, Ascension and Pentecost it has been very clear that while Jesus left physically – he promised to be with us through the Holy Spirit – so that we could continue his work on earth.

There’s a great song by Melody Green called “There is a redeemer” which sums this up so well.

There is a redeemer,
Jesus, God’s own Son,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Holy One

Thank you oh my father,
For giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit,
‘Til the work on Earth is done.

Jesus my redeemer,
Name above all names,
Precious Lamb of God, Messiah,
Oh, for sinners slain.

When I stand in Glory,
I will see His face,
And there I’ll serve my King forever,
In that Holy Place.

Thank you oh my father,
For giving us Your Son,
And leaving Your Spirit,
‘Til the work on Earth is done.

Leaving your Spirit till the work on Earth is done!

WHAT IS THAT WORK?

Making disciples – proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom – sharing the Good News – and equipping people to be missionaries where they are!

We’ve been studying Mission Church concepts. The beauty of the idea (and it’s a bible based idea not a new and modern fashion) is that God has sent us into the world on His behalf!

Missio – means being sent. And for many of us where we are NOW is where he has sent us.

Others are sent further away as part of God’s plan.

Jesus in John’s gospel put it this way:

John 20:21  Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”

And John goes on to record:

Joh 20:22  And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

THE GOSPEL READING TODAY:

The reading from the lectionary today is really interesting. There is something I want to observe about this passage that relates to Mission:

The opposition

1. Jesus’ opposition make accusations against him. They say that he is possessed by Beelzebub! “By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” – is what the Jewish teachers of the law who have some down from Jerusalem say!

2. Jesus’ family allege that he is mad! Insane!

We read: 20 Then Jesus entered a house, and again a crowd gathered, so that he and his disciples were not even able to eat. 21 When his family heard about this, they went to take charge of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.”

Not much fun when the religious heavy-weights AND your family oppose you!

Jesus response is to be faithful and teach them! And in teaching them he gives this warning:

I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. 29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”

John reports: (v30) He said this because they were saying, “He has an evil spirit.”

Here’s what this seems to tell us: Don’t say that what God is doing (in this case the work of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit) is the work of Satan! That’s the warning. That is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. (It helps to read Matthew 12:22-32 for the expanded passage on this theme.)

ON THE POSITIVE SIDE

I’m very aware that people give up family ties and support when they serve God. We have spent almost all our married life away from family as we have responded to God’s call to go far away. So I am very aware of the sacrifices Missionaries pay to go to the ends of the earth!

Our Mission support offering for this month is for Simon and Sarah Krige who work with YWAM in Bali. I know Simon Krige. We shared our journey when he was a youth pastor. And he and his wife are now about to have their first baby in Bali. The baby is due next month.

Like many Missionary folk they have left behind their family to go where God has called them.

This passage is very encouraging. Who are the real family of Jesus?

Listen again:

33 “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked.

34 Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!

35   Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

The Trinity – we heard last week – is the ultimate example of unity and love!

People who do God’s will – like Simon and Sarah – are drawn into Jesus’ family!

Jesus experienced opposition. Those who respond to His call also face challenges as they cross borders and travel to places a long way from home.

THAT’S WHY

  1. We need to support them in prayer! They too will have opposition just as Jesus did!
  2.  That’s why we are choosing to support them with our Mission appeal for this quarter! We can support them financially. It would be great if God’s leads some of us to support them regularly! AND
  3. Most exciting – it would be great if some of us could do a short term mission trip and visit them to encourage them and the community they serve – building an Indonesian-Kiwi partnership.

By the way – if you get opposition for being a Christian witness where you are – you are in good company!

Perhaps be sure that you are doing the will of God in your life!

And then stand firm!

Amen!

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About robinpalmer

I am a Presbyterian Pastor living and working in Browns Bay on the North Shore of Auckland in New Zealand. We moved here at the end of March 2011 after spending five years in Wellington the capital city. I am passionate about what I do - about communicating and writing. I also enjoy my counselling work, especially with young people.

Posted on June 10, 2012, in Sunday Morning Sermons. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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