Pastor Andrew Owen
Dear eNews friends and Church members,
Do you have a habit of over using a particular word? Especially when you’re trying to tell someone about something important or interesting?
I know that I do.
I hear it when I listen to myself preach.
And I know that most of our pastors do, because it often becomes a point of teasing as we banter with one another.
Mark has such a word in his gospel, and it’s this word immediately. He uses it in his book more than the rest of the Bible put together.
To be precise, Mark uses this word 40 times.
So, is everything in a hurry in his book?
Is it a catalogue of sudden and divine interventions?
Actually, no! The stories and accounts are very much the same in his book as in all the other gospels.
So why does he use this word so often?
Immediately is an adverb, which simply means, that it modifies everything else that’s just been written. It turns the ordinary into the extra-ordinary, the bland into the colourful, the tasteless meal into the zest and flavours we enjoy.
Mark uses this word to tell us that everyday life becomes very different when Jesus gets involved. And he uses this word to add importance to the moment in which we find ourselves. I created a mantra which I often say, ‘You only have one life, so don’t you want to make it life worth living?’. This sums up the big point Mark is trying to make. TODAY is important, and YOU can make a difference.
But all too often we not only miss the moment, but we miss God in the moment. Here are 3 reasons why.
We wish we were somewhere else
Ever had a conversation with someone but you know their minds are elsewhere? We have all been there. This is so often true when we are going through a hard or challenging time. We don’t want to be here, we want to be past it, through it and beyond it. But actually, it’s so often that in those moments we find God the most, and discover His love the greatest. When we feel we have the least, He might just be able to use us the most. The key is not to focus on the pain within us, but the power behind us
We wish we were someone else
Identity is a lifelong crisis for some people. They always think that if they were ‘that person’, opportunities would be so different.
I’m noticing in Mark’s gospel, that his ‘immediately’s’ happened to all kinds of people. The lepers, the disciples, the crowd, widow, the teachers.
Everyone had an immediate moment. The thing that made the difference, was not the qualifications of the person, but the presence of another person – Jesus!
We don’t recognize the moment
A few weeks ago, we had the most wonderful evening dinner on a remarkable night, with friends we love dearly. It was like God kissed the moment, because as we left the restaurant on the clearest of nights, we witnessed the total eclipse of the moon. We stood for ages watching, and marvelling at this sight.
Little did I know, that this would be the last time I would see my friend alive, in that he died a few days later. That evening will be forever etched on my memory.
This moment, for us as a church family, is such a moment. Hugely important.
We are just completing our series, Mission Possible, and this week and next we will be receiving a very special offering. Not of money -but of ourselves. We are re-dedicating our church, our lives and our families to the greatest cause of all, and the greatest one of all.
We are committing and recommitting, and we want to say, ‘all of me for all of Him”.
Clearly, as with all offerings, they are entirely voluntary. Only if you want to.
For me and my house, just like Joshua said, as for us, we will serve the Lord.
And I know many others have also come to the same place.
I get the deepest sense, that as a result the next few weeks and months will be filled with ordinary moments touched and changed with … immediately….
Come ready, see you Sunday in person, or join our streaming church online.
We love you guys,
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