What Do We Do at St. Mark – In Tough Times?
Come with me to that story called Acts.
As Paul and Silas finish their third missionary journey, The Spirit leads Paul to go to Jerusalem. But Paul knows it’s dangerous there. Lots of people want to destroy the believers. On their way to Jerusalem, they stop in Ephesus. Paul calls the believers together and says in part,
You know how I lived among you, serving the Lord with humility and tears…
I did not shrink from doing anything helpful, proclaiming the message, teaching you in the open…
Now I know that none of you…
Will ever see me again…
Keep watch over the flock to shepherd the church
Of God that he obtained with the blood of his own Son
…savage wolves will come.
Support the weak…
Remember Jesus’ words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (20:17-38)
These are Paul’s last words to them. They feel his dread of going to Jerusalem.
What do the believers do in this tough, tough time?
Paul kneels down with them and they pray
They are all weeping
They embrace Paul and kiss him
They accompany him to the ship he will take.
So in our life together, how do we support each other in tough times?
Praying – weeping-embracing-accompanying
Look at accompanying. It’s simply…
walking with another
listening with loving openness
We accompany because God in Jesus walked with us and talked with us and told us we are his own – so we would walk with a person in tough times – and tell them they are His own. We accompany – because we were first accompanied.
So - what are examples of accompanying in tough times?
1. Barnabas accompanied Paul and young Mark on that first missionary journey. Mark deserted them, and they went on. At the beginning of the second missionary journey Barnabas insisted that Mark come. Paul wouldn’t have it. They separated, and Barnabas accompanied Mark on their missionary journey. Did Barnabas’ accompanying save Mark for our faith? I thank God Barnabas did accompany him, because Mark went on to write a little book – our Gospel According to St. Mark.
2. On Wednesday I posted on Facebook that I would view Rebekah on Friday at Christensen’s funeral home. My childhood friend Lyle came from Iowa to accompany me. It was so healing. I was so grateful.
3. Finally, in the midst of the busyness Pastor Mark came to our home with a beautiful card on behalf of himself, Pr. Chad, staff, and our church council. He brought a beautiful art pole for our garden – something my wife Anne always wanted, and I didn’t even know – but in some spiritual way, St. Mark knew. How beautifully we were accompanied – by you.
What do we do together – in tough times?
Praying – weeping – embracing – accompanying
For the One – with the One – who first accompanied us.
Pastor Chuck Olson
Take to Heart
The Ideal Spiritual Life Together-in Tough Times
Acts 20:36-38/July 22nd 2018
Moves Paul to go to Jerusalem – he knows the danger
He tells believers in Ephesus they will not see him again
They pray, weep, embrace – and accompany Paul to his ship
Accompanying – the key to caring