Prayer: Great God, on days when we get frustrated with our lives or our memories, remind us to keep our eyes on Your love and thankfulness. May we spend today living in Your glory and love. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Read St. Luke 9: 37 – 43a
After Moses and Elijah left, did Jesus and the apostles hurry down the mountain? No, the Gospel is very specific here that it was the next day when they came down from the mountain. They took time to continue praying and meditating.
At the foot of the mountain, they are met by a crowd. A large crowd. A big crowd. And out of this large crowd, a man calls out, “Please, please Teacher, take a look at my son. He’s my only child. Often a spirit seizes him. Suddenly he’s screaming, thrown into convulsions, his mouth foaming. And then it beats him black and blue before it leaves. I asked your disciples to deliver him but they couldn’t” (St Luke 9: 38 – 40 The Message, Navpress, 2005).
Wow. The disciples had been trying to bring out the demon from the boy but were unsuccessful. And how does Jesus respond? With gentleness? Nope. Jesus begins to get frustrated with the disciples and the crowd. Why would Jesus do this? Jesus meek and mild where have you gone? Jesus knows that his time for teaching the disciples is short. And the disciples aren’t quite getting Jesus’ teaching.
Before Jesus heals the boy, he says to the disciples and the crowd, “What a generation! No sense of God! No focus to your lives! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring your son here.” (St Luke 9: 41 The Message, Navpress, 2005). Is Jesus getting a tad frustrated? Yes. Do Ministers and Elders today get frustrated with their ministries? Yes. Do congregations get frustrated today with the Minister and Elders? Yes. Frustration is part lack of communication and part lack of understanding. Jesus had been teaching the disciples but they were not totally understanding what Jesus was trying to teach them. For us today, we read this story and wonder why the disciples could not understand what Jesus was teaching. But we know the end of the story. We know the teachings of Jesus. We read them over and over again and become familiar with the word of God so that it lives in our heart.
Jesus heals the boy. And the crowd is astonished at God’s greatness. Aha. The crowd is starting to understand the teaching of Jesus.
Today, pray that Ministers and Elders may communicate the work of God with the congregation and that the congregation may receive this news with open hearts and arms.
Prayer: Almighty God, for the work and ministry of all Ministers and all Elders we give You thanks. For the time they spend in Your presence – sustain them. For the time they spend in meditation – revive their souls to your peace. Open our hearts and minds to the ministry that is before us in the Church we attend. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.