Our Thought for the Week today comes from Sean Fountain, minister at Pier Avenue Baptist, Clacton and one of our EBA Council members
Begging for Bread
It was only a small part of the sentence, but it hit me like an express train!
Yes, the story may only have been a few verses in length yet, it contained so many emotions. There was hurt, frustration and rejection. Mark, in his Gospel, says that the Pharisees came to question and test Jesus. (Mark 8:11-12)
There are times, as a Minister, when you meet people who are, let’s say, a little challenging! Perhaps you have encountered them too. They are the ones who have “on a mission” written all over their face. They are the sort that you have to “fix the smile” as they test, question and examine you as they speak.
I wonder, if Jesus did the same?
Did He fix the smile?
Did His heart turn somersaults too?
Did He think “why don’t you ever listen? Haven’t you got it yet?”
Mark gives us a clue as to what Jesus felt in that small part of the sentence;
He sighed deeply in his Spirit (Mark 8 vs. 12 – NRSV)
The problem with testing is that we expect a right or wrong answer. That is what the Pharisees were looking for. I think our society has conditioned us to the same type of thinking.
Right or Wrong
Pass or Fail
Righteous or sinner
Sound or unsound
I think Jesus sighed deeply in his spirit because, the Pharisees could quote chapter and verse of the rule book but, what they had not grasped was, the intention behind the rule book. Much less did they understand the Kingdom of God.
The Kingdom is not about right or wrong. Who is in and who is out. The Kingdom is about The Grace of God reaching out to all humanity in its mess, chaos and brokenness.
Each of us is a work in progress, therefore, we cannot fail we just need a little more work. I came across this image, which really spoke to me of what God’s kingdom is about.
There are many authors who, the original of this quotation is attributed too, but as I spent some time reflecting on Mark 8 today, I wrote these words:
Christianity is one beggar telling another where to find bread
The Kingdom comes
when this beggar takes the bread he has found
and shares it with another
We are producing some short reflective videos which can be used by churches in Lent. The first one which asks ‘Is Lent primarily about giving things up or giving more time to God?’ can be found here https://youtu.be/8XNTU6XzmSQ
EBA – The Future
We would still love to hear from you as we review the work of the EBA. There is still time to for you, your church secretary or church member, to complete our survey
Secondly we are inviting anyone from EBA churches to join us in a zoom conversation where we can hear your opinions on what the Association does well and what you see as priorities for the Association going forward. There are 3 opportunities within the first week of March to join in, details are below along with the zoom invite.
4th March 10.30am – 12pm
5th March 2pm –3.30pm,
8th March 7.30pm – 9pm
If you wish to have the Zoom invites please email EBA secretary.
Have you ever stopped to think of the emotional turmoil that Jesus went through in the week leading up to his death and resurrection? His anguish in Gethsemane gives us a glimpse into the level of emotions that were churning inside him and whilst peopl …
31st March 2021
Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring….. I love Dad’s Army, both now and when I was a teenager. The wonderful bungling well-meaning creativity, along with a good dose of slapstick just ticks the boxes for me. As you will know, I live in Thetford, but what you ma …
24th March 2021
Our Thought for the Week comes from Alan Brand, EBA Trustees and minister at ‘Renew’, Lode, Cambridgeshire. Running on empty The onboard computer in my car tells me I’ve got enough fuel in the tank to travel 4 miles. It’s 4.3 miles to the neares …
17th March 2021