Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!

Help support the vision of Woodland Hills Community Church!
For those of you who would like to support the vision & ministry of Woodland Hills Community Church (the faith community I serve that continues to encourage me to minister outside the box), please click on the link just above.

Saturday, August 8

Today’s Readings: Psalm 131; 2 Samuel 15:19-37; Mark 9:30-41; Acts 25:13-22; Psalm 43

Like most students, I had my favorite (and least) favorite classes in school. My favorites were classes like English and History; my least favorites were classes like Math and Science. So what turned me off about Math and Science? Well, those classes were linear in a way that my mind wasn’t. Case in point: Geometry. In our geometry class, our teacher Mr. Cox told us we were expected to do two things. First, we had to solve the problem; and second, we had to provide an explanation or proof that showed how we arrived at the answer. I usually did okay with the first part. I often didn’t provide an adequate explanation of how I got there, however, so I frequently got marked down by Mr. Cox. Getting marked down for a poor proof really upset me. I couldn’t understand why anyone could be penalized for arriving at the right answer - even if that person used a creative route to arrive at that answer. In some ways, this is the sort of dynamic that was involved in today’s Gospel reading from Mark. In that passage the disciples come to Jesus with a complaint. They point out there is a man out there who arrived at the right answer (i.e. he expelled demons), yet he didn’t provide the right explanation for how he got there (i.e. he didn’t belong to their particular group). For this, the disciples had marked the man down. Jesus refused to buy into their approach. He gave the man space by saying, “If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally” (Mark 9:40 from The Message). So how do you approach life? Are you like my Geometry teacher Mr. Cox and those early disciples – demanding that people not only arrive at the right conclusion but use your approach to get there; or are you like Jesus – able to give others space and allow them to get there in using their own methods? Til next time…

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