Monday, January 21, 2013

Called and Named

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the sea, and a great crowd followed, from Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem and Idumea and from beyond the Jordan and from around Tyre and Sidon. When the great crowd heard all that he was doing, they came to him. And he told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, lest they crush him, for he had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him. And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.” And he strictly ordered them not to make him known.
And he went up on the mountain and called to him those whom he desired, and they came to him. And he appointed twelve (whom he also named apostles) so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James the son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Mark 3:7-19

Today is Inauguration Day and Martin Luther King Day. I hoped to wake up early enough to hear the president's speech but had to settle for watching it on line. We are removed by so many hours that it is easy to overlook or forget what is going on today. The crowds of people on the Mall in Washington, a rainbow hue of people, smiled and cheered as the president spoke movingly about 'we the people'. He spoke of how important it was for us to act together in the care and renewing of our world.

Jesus was so overwhelmed by the crowds that he took his disciples to a remote place on the mountain. We hear them named and called to be co-workers in Christ's ministry. Even Jesus alone could not meet the vast needs of the people and shared his authority and relationship with God with his disciples. Some he even gave unique names and charged them with preaching and healing the people. In this day and age, he still calls us each by name and sends us out to care for the needs of the people. None of us are an entity unto ourselves, but are invited to be co-workers with God, and with one another.

Today I ask God to help me serve others in God name and to rely on the strength of my co-workers. May we not see ourselves as individuals alone but as brothers and sisters together, committed to the healing and renewing of our world. May we take our gifts and ministries as things to be shared with others and may we be ever grateful this day for the blessings we receive and the companions we have on the way.

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