July 4

Mark 6:7-13

“He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.” vs. 7

Jesus practiced what he preached. When he was rejected by the people of Nazareth he intensified his outreach and sent out his disciples to mirror his mission and his message in other villages of Galilee. He had known there would be setbacks, but he also knew that there were hundreds of hurting, needy people who were hungry for the gospel, and who were yearning for change. It’s a good reminder for us in these post-COVID times. Some congregations have had some real setbacks in recent months, and more than a few are battling for survival. They’ve lost members and are having significant financial issues…it may even feel as though all the spiritual energy has departed. There are places where tensions about regulations and restrictions have erupted into serious divisions. Pastors and congregational leaders are discouraged…they wonder if what is happening is an indicator of the increasing irrelevance of the church. Of course that’s not true! Even if some doors close, hundreds more are being opened. As we look around we can’t help but notice the hunger for meaning and purpose amid the turmoil of the times. People are searching for significance, and the good news of Jesus will never be out of date. What’s called for is a redoubling of outreach, not to restore the church of the past, but to invent ever more imaginative ways to go with the gospel. Our mission is at hand!

Thought for the Day: How’s my congregation doing? How can I help?

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