He that is not against us is for us. Mark 9:40
The disciples wanted to overachieve. Now that they were on the road with Jesus and had personal access to the Lord surely they were bound for greatness in the Promised Land. They were so hung up on their accomplishments that arguments began to break out over how good they were.
The Lord had to remind them, as he tells us, that we are an entire family and that all of us are equals in the work of the kingdom. A child becomes his example of greatness. A cup of water, gratefully shared, is a symbol of great sacrifice. All who do not oppose the gospel are a part of the gospel family.
Jesus does not ask us to overachieve in the faith. He asks us only to use the conviction that he gives us, to work where we can, share what we have, and celebrate the total family of God on our road with the Lord. The Lord said, He that is not against us is for us.
Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another. Mark 9:50
The combination of salt and peace does not always make much sense to us. How could Christ call us to be “salty Christians” and then command us to live at peace with each other? Doesn’t salt burn? Don’t people with spark and fire often challenge and upset and distress others? Perhaps, but today, we are called to be God’s people of character, purpose, and peace.
Jesus is trying to teach his disciples what it means to be on salvation’s journey. Once called and touched by the Messiah, we must and will be different. The world will know us by our actions and love. Those around us will recognize the flavor and spirit we bring to our work, our worship, our world. And, finally, we will help others see that Christians of action and spark know how to live in peace-in concert and harmony with God’s whole creation.
Yes, use the spirit you have received. Live in peace with all the rest.
Help us all, O Lord, to know that you have given your gifts to each one. Teach us to accept the gifts and all your children with gratitude, humble thanksgiving, and gracious sharing. We thank you, O God, for the spirit, the purpose, the fire you have placed in our lives. Help us to be witness to your faith as we live in joy and hope with all your creation. Amen.
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