September 25

Mark 9:38-41

“For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.” vs. 41

The disciples were thrilled to be a part of the Jesus brigade but they didn’t have a clue about what that involved. They were applying the world’s standards to the Peaceable Kingdom and believed that they had become insiders by following Jesus. It was a pretty small group, but they didn’t seem to care if everyone else in the world was left out. Like some contemporary denominations they reveled in being Christian and couldn’t believe that others could be included. Jesus set them straight with his words–others, many others, all those who practiced hospitality, were doing his work–even if they didn’t have the right label. And that’s the way it continues to be. There are certain universal standards for life, things like humility, generosity, love, kindness, gentleness, self-control, and where people are practicing those virtues it is a certain sign that the Spirit of God is at work. Their religion, their set of human-imagined rules for worship, doesn’t make a bit of difference. It’s fine for us to be faithful and involved in our congregations, but we can never begin to imagine that this is what it means to be alive in Christ. No matter how satisfying our liturgical dances might be, our God-given work is to be found outside our churches in the ebb and flow of daily living.

Thought for the Day: Does it make any difference what we believe?

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