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Thursday, December 11, 2008

‘Follow me.’ 

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[December 11, 2008]   -- Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them.  As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said, ‘Follow me.’  And he got up and followed him.”-Mark 2: 13-14

 There are lots of things in Scripture that are difficult for us to imagine because they seem supernatural.  Stories of miraculous healings, resurrection, plagues and pillars of cloud and flame seem impossible.  But this passage from Mark, while not otherworldly, seems almost as unlikely.  A man sits in his tax booth, collecting taxes from the people and making a fine living when Jesus walks up, says, “follow me,” and the man just goes.  Imagine a similar scene playing out in your workplace.  Someone walks in, tells one of your co-workers to follow, and they just go, never to be seen at work again.  It is almost as easy to imagine a plague of frogs raining upon us.  And yet we can be assured that this story, and stories like it, are rooted in the truth.  Jesus was a nobody from nowheresville.  He had no reputation and no one knew what he was all about.  Yet he was able to put together a loyal and significant band of followers who became the foundation for the Church that still exists to this day.  How?

Jesus was able to tap into the human desire for one thing…purpose.  Catching fish is nice, he said, but I will make you fishers of people.  Collecting taxes may be lucrative, he said, but where has it gotten you?  Moments like these that reframed the way people thought about their daily lives.  So how do you think about your life?  Does it have real meaning?  Is the work you do and the life you lead part of any greater purpose or do you simply do it to put food on your table and a roof over your head?  All of us want to be a part of something greater than ourselves and this is what Jesus offers even today, the chance to do something more with our lives than catch some measly fish or skim off the top of the taxes.  He offers us the chance to know people on deep, personal levels; he offers us the opportunity to look beyond the horizon of our immediate needs; he offers us the means to change the world itself.  Jesus Christ offers us all these things and within them is the clarity of purpose that we all seek.

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Prayer:  God, help me to find the purpose in my life.  What are you calling me to do?  Where do you want me to go?  I want to serve you and I want to know this purpose in my life.  I pray in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

[text from file received by Phil Blackburn ]

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