August 21, 2016
Today's Lesson :
Mark: The Good News (10) Mk. 4:35-41
Years ago (no, not the Dark Ages, but close), when I was a Police Chaplain with the Fairfax County Police Department—just outside of Washington, D.C.—my first challenge was to befriend and win-over each officer in our station. They had never had a chaplain and I had never been one before. On top of that, letting me ride with them and getting to know me was totally up to them. There was no requirement to use or get to know the new chaplain. In fact, one of my favorite memories was that first trip to the roll call room with the Captain of the station. As he and I walked down the stairs to the lower lever where the meeting was taking place, I heard one of the officers clearly protest, “Who the _________ needs a chaplain?” Thus the first red flag of concern popped up. I have great admiration and respect for the job our police have to do, and the vast majority of them are quality, caring, and dedicated officers—and by vast majority, I mean 99 out of a 100. BUT—they are a closed community as they have had to recognize that no one understands their job like another policeman does. I was an outsider and I had to work my way in to become one of the team.
On that first day as a Police Chaplain, I ended up riding with a young officer who had been raised in the church and was anxious to get to know me. We had a great time. I think I rode the entire ten hour shift. I still remember how surprised he was to find out I was a hunter and, back then, an avid gun collector and shooter. He was dumbfounded that a preacher could enjoy the same things he did. I still remember seeing his jaw drop big-time when I told him about a recent trip to the gun range with a member who let me shoot his Thompson 45 sub-machine gun. His shock was nearly as much fun as shooting the Thompson had been. He discovered a lot of things about me that day, and the eight years to follow.
There’s a lot about me that you don’t know. So what? In our passage this morning, the apostles, who thought they knew Jesus, find out just how wrong they were. They’d already seen him do some amazing things, but they still didn’t get what it meant that he was the Messiah—the Son of God! What they didn’t know about him could fill books.
What about you? What don’t you know about Jesus? This is why we MUST study the Gospels! Not some! Not occasionally! Not just once a year! It’s the INSIDE SCOOP ON THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON TO EVER WALK THE FACE OF THE EARTH! Pay attention to Mark!
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