St. Mark records for us that Jesus was leaving (v18). The man, no longer ‘legion’, understandably has had his life transformed by his encounter with Jesus and naturally wants to stay in Christ’s presence. Hearing many people’s stories of their transforming encounters with Jesus over my life, this is a common thread of wanting to stay or soak in the moment and not wanting to leave God’s presence, (which is utterly amazing) and very understandable. However Jesus knows; as He taught the disciples and St. Mark records for us in chapter 3:14 that our development and rhythm as disciples depends both on worship and mission. Being with Jesus is great, encountering God’s presence is essential but if we only dwell there we diminish in faith. If we only worship, with no missional activity, I believe we grow dull in our desire to authentically meet God. If we only mission with no worship we burn ourselves out.
Jesus instructs this man to go and share across the region of the 10 towns what God has done for him. I believe we help others see who God is by describing what has and is happening by His grace at work in our lives. This participation naturally draws us to depend on Christ and seek the equipping of God’s Spirit. Thus by voice and action, we encounter God’s presence as we journey, sharing our faith in a way that makes sense to us and others. Conversely we often stop encountering God when we stop sharing our faith.
So in gracious and gentle ways let us prayerfully seek each day the Holy Spirit’s subtle prompts to share our good news of Christ’s transforming love by word and deed.
Lord help me to live in your rhythm of worship and mission this day, equip me and guide me to bless others and bring glory to You.
by Stephen Lindridge