Friday, February 22, 2008

Lenten Devoional: Days thirteen and fourteen, Febuary 21st and 22nd "Help me with my Unbelief"

Gospel Reading: Mark 6-10
Devotional Emphasis: Mark 9:24 “Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me to overcome my unbelief.”

Mark continues his theme of showing those persons who have eyes to see and ears to hear. In chapters 6 and 7 we see examples of those persons who have little faith (having eyes, but not seeing) verses those who do. Beginning in chapter 8 Mark throws us a curve ball because it is the disciples we have eyes but only see partially. Jesus paints this picture well when he goes to heal the blind man and he only sees partially. After a second healing, he sees clearly. After this, Peter confesses Jesus to be the messiah, but when Jesus predicts his death three times in the following chapters, the disciples fail to understand and are rebuked. Chapter 10 ends with another story of a blind man gaining sight, possible to show that one day the disciples will see and understand.

After Jesus takes three of his disciples to a mountain and God turns his clothes bright white and the disciples see Moses and Elijah, they encounter the rest of the disciples trying to cast out an evil spirit. They are having a hard time so Jesus talks with the father of the child who has the evil spirit. He tells to the father that anything is possible for those who believe, to which the father replies, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.” This stands in contrast to the disciples who were standing around unable to cats out this demon. Of coarse Jesus tells them that this demon can only come out through prayer. (Some texts add “fasting”)

As I was reading these verses this morning I found the father’s words refreshing and Jesus response to them as comforting. As First-Centenary approaches opening up our new building and we move The Vine worship service into it, I cannot help but worry about whether or not the service will grow. I know deep down that our growing is dependent upon God and I believe with all my heart that this is true. However, part of me can’t help but worry. So, with the father in this passage, my prayer to God is: “I do believe, help me to overcome my unbelief.” I imagine that this is our prayer as we deal with lots of life situations. It seems that Jesus responds to this kind of faith and I am very thankful.

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