2 Samuel 5:1-5,9-10
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Mark 6: 1-13
"He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two"
It's been awhile since you started following him. Although some of the details of that day when you first encountered Him along the shores of the Sea of Galilee have faded - other parts of that encounter are as vivid as the moment they happened - and that is what keeps you going.
It's why you're here this morning, actually, still following him. Because somewhere, deep inside, His words and the example of His life and His faith and just His presence have struck an ancient chord deep inside you and you just can't walk away. You see other people in the crowd today, listening to His teaching, and you know that they've been touched as well.
This Jesus, he's a man on a journey and you want, actually you need, to be part of it. It gives you hope. And we human beings, we are creatures of hope - we need hope as much as we need air to breath, water to drink, and food to eat. This Jesus, and his followers, well they - we - are bearers of hope.
The book "Hope as Old as Fire" is a series of short daily meditations written by Steven Charleston who is the former Bishop of Alaska and a member of the Chocktaw nation. I had a chance to hear Bishop Charleston speak to a conference of deacons several years ago and have found him to be a compelling and unique voice in our wider community.
In reading his book, alongside our summer book 'Always we begin again' and reflecting on the idea of journey and the journey of Jesus and his disciples in Mark's Gospel... I was particularly struck by this meditation...
One more day. God gives me one more day. With each sunrise I see, God gives me one more day to make right what is wrong, to open what is closed, to find what is lost, to be what I long to become. I can work miracles today. I can change the course of history with a word. In these few hours I have the chance to shape time itself into timeless love. One more day. That's all I need to live one day as if it were eternity.
On this day, the disciples are gathered with the crowds who are listening to Jesus teach in the villages outside Nazareth. As they listen to Him, all of a sudden they hear him call them by name to come forward and before they know it, Jesus is sending them out to teach, to heal, to love and to bring a word of hope to all those they encounter on this day. Stop, Listen - do you hear him call your name? Amen.