Devotional Reading: Mark 5: 1-20
Text: But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” (v. 19)
Several years ago I was in a men’s covenant group, and to this day it has been the one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have unsuccessfully tried to replicate it in other times in other places.
The group consisted of a half dozen men who “covenanted” or promised to meet together twice a month and to make the meeting a high priority. This meant that wives had to buy in to the concept.
During our time together we shared life stories, prayed for each other and joked around. I felt a connection like I never felt before or since.
One night a member of the group said that Jesus always made him a little uncomfortable. He feared that if he took Jesus to seriously that Jesus would ask him to be a foreign missionary; his biggest fear. He was quite serious. And he was quite comfortable in his current life. This was truly a confessional moment.
Responding to Jesus’ healing touch in our lives does not mean that we will be asked to do something that we are ill-equipped to do. Following Jesus does not mean that we will be asked to be foreign missionaries. In today’s reading the healed “demoniac” wanted to walk away from his community and follow Jesus. Jesus, though, told him that his call is in his own community; a community in which he could tell others how God changed his life.
The problem that many of us face is that we believe that God’s call is to exotic places when more often than not, God’s call is to where we currently are. God’s call is not necessarily away but to stay.
God calls us to be witnesses where we are. In the well-worn phrase, “to bloom where we are planted.”
Lord, do not allow me to be afraid of Your claim on my life. Use me as You see fit, even if it is in the place where I now am. Amen.