I was going to start by asking you if you have ever been in a crowd of people so packed together that you could hardly even move. Then I thought about that question and realized that it most likely has been awhile since you have been around a group of people, if you don’t think about church, let alone a crowd, thanks to COVID. So think back to a time or imagine that you are crowded together like the people were in the first verse of Mark that I read. It says that the people were so crowded they couldn’t even eat. Well, we know that eating is one of the most important things in life. If we can’t eat, most likely we will get grumpy and when we are grumpy, our patience is very short, and pretty quickly, things can escalate and turn bad. If they turn bad, then everyone is not on the same page and people become divided. The scripture goes on to say that if the house or in this case, the crowd of people become divided amongst themselves then the house or the crowd cannot stand. Now if this crowd worked together there could have been a way that they could have spaced themselves apart so that they had room to eat and also be able to see Jesus and hear Him talk to the people. So, the answer is that the crowd needs to be able to work together. If they worked together things would have been much more comfortable, they would have been able to listen to the message of Jesus, and also would have been able to eat their lunches, so to speak.
There is more to this than just working together. The crowd needed to work together but they also needed to be open to God and the spirit. For without God and the spirit, whatever they tried to do may have worked for a short time but soon it would have returned to the crowd that was so tight together, they couldn’t do anything.
As I have said before, there are times when a children’s message tells us what the scripture is all about in a much easier way to understand. So the children’s message today for all of us is the analogy of a mechanical pencil.
If the lead is not in the pencil will it work? A pencil’s job is to write or draw, with no lead it can’t do that. Now, if you had just the lead, could you do the job of a pencil? Perhaps but most likely, it would just break. So the only way the pencil will work is if the two parts of it work together. Keep that thought.
If we are the pencil then Jesus and the spirit are the lead. For us to work well, we need the lead to be able to do that. We need God’s spirit in us and in our lives before we can work well with each other. We need to pay attention to God then we will be working together with Jesus and each other so that we are one big and loving family. We become our community in faith.
It isn’t however a onetime deal. It is a continuous, ongoing thing. We need to keep paying attention to God and keep inviting God into our lives because it is the spirit of God that keeps us working together. We also need to remember that we are a part of a large family for we all are brothers and sisters in Christ. A large family has members that all have different abilities but by working with the spirit of God we can use our different abilities to accomplish any goal that is set before us.
We need to also remember that Jesus always stands before us as the image of unity, wholeness, integration. He is much stronger than we are. He does for us what we can’t do for ourselves. He has the ability to put our lives and houses back in order. He is able to bind the forces that divide, heal the wounds that separate, and to refashion all the pieces of the brokenness in a new whole. If we don’t keep Jesus in our lives, we could forever be that crowd that was so bunched together they couldn’t even eat.
We can’t do it ourselves but we can do anything that needs to be done with the help of Jesus. We also need to remember that we should never lose hope, for we are never alone as long as we listen to and keep Jesus in our lives.
This church of ours is one big family. Like I have said before, we all are different; we all have different abilities and talents. If we were the same it would be boring. We can take our differences, our different abilities and talents, put them together, and by working with God in our forefront, we can accomplish anything that is put before us. We can take care of ourselves, each other, and those in our community and around the world that need our help.
So family of mine; may you have a good week. May the blessings of God be over you every minute of the day.