Short talk for Family service


Mark 6:1-13

May I speak in the name of the Father, the son and the holy spirit.

Have you ever tried juggling?  (Juggles 3 balls)I know that’s not a question you would normally expect to hear on t Sunday morning but let me explain.  You see, to be able to juggle does take a certain amount of skill, patience and faith.  Skill, because the eyes and hands need to work together. Patience because keeping three balls or more in the air does not happen in five minute.  But faith, why would you need faith? Well there two sort of faiths happening. One is faith in yourself that you can learn to juggle and two faith in gravity.  Both types of faith are a little tricky to fully believe.  Faith in yourself is down to confidence and positive experience gained from overcoming past  failures.  Whereas as faith in gravity you would think is a bit of a no brainer. (drops a ball) See, there I proved gravity exists…  but I cannot as easily prove the cause of gravity.  If we think for a moment that we are on a planet that is spinning so fast that we literally being pulled down on it. Well it does boggle the brain somewhat!  Yet, thankfully, here we are firmly attached to the ground and not floating off somewhere.

So, what I hear you ask, does juggling have to do with the gospel reading we heard today where Jesus experience lack of faith?  I want to take you back, if I may, to last week’s gospel passage.  Mark 5 retells the story of a woman who had been subject to bleeding for many years.  She believed Christ could heal her even though many doctors had failed.  But after reaching out, she is told by Jesus that it is her faith that healed her as if He himself did not have anything to do with it.

How different is today’s reading.  Jesus goes about his hometown presumably teaching and healing as he has done before but this time, something is different.  So different in fact that the scripture says ‘And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief’.  Jesus could not do the work His Father had sent Him to do as there was no faith.  No faith. No power. No healing! But wait a minute, isn’t God, well, God?!  Can’t God do whatever He wants to do?   What has faith got to do with it?  (Throws ball into air and catches it)  Well, like the juggler, faith is about working in partnership between the things we understand and the things we not so sure about.  Of course God can do what He wants when He wants but then we wouldn’t be the children He wants us to be. He wants us to work with Him, in partnership with Him, learning, growing day by day to become more like Him. We can’t do that if He solves all our problems for us without any effort from us.

Faith is not assuming all will go our way if we prayer.  Faith is not resting in His arms and just expecting everything to be ok.  Faith is about regular prayer, chatting and listing to God, about being aware of Him working in our lives and us being active in response.  As St Teresa of Avila once said

Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours.

Christ has faith in us, like he had faith in the twelve whom he sent out to do His work.  So if we accept His faith in us, and we grow in faith in Him then we can go out, proclaim His name, and bring His freedom to all we meet in our everyday lives.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Nicky
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 20:23:51

    I really liked your juggling idea. Given me an idea for my youth group tomorrow. Simple way to make juggling balls is as follows (although I expect you may already know! Wrap a large handful of rice in cling film. Take two different colour balloons and snip off the long bit. Take one balloon and stretch it over the cling filmed rice. Then put the second balloon over the first making sure you cover the exposed rice. hey presto a bi-coloured juggling ball that kids love to make. Hope all goes well with your juggling tomorrow.

    Reply

  2. Chris Fewings
    Jul 15, 2012 @ 07:52:46

    As I understand the earth has gravity because it is big, not because it spins (spinning things tend to throw you off them!). I believe any object has gravity, but in small objects like you and me this is negligible, which is why we are not getting closer at this moment!

    Reply

    • Emma
      Jul 15, 2012 @ 09:25:36

      Thanks. I guess I was keeping the talk short and to the point. So i dropped some facts. 😉

      Reply

      • Chris Fewings
        Jul 16, 2012 @ 10:59:49

        I guess my comment was a bit off-topic! But I used to think gravity was about spin, and was fascinated to find it wasn’t. And I like a Christianity which is grounded in physics and well-earthed, as well as reaching to the sky!

        “For someone will forever be surprising
        A hunger in himself to be more serious
        And gravitating with it to this ground”

        (Philip Larkin, ‘Churchgoing’)

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