People Who Don’t Take “No” For An Answer

NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR JUNE 29, 2014

I usually follow the lectionary assigned scriptures unless some special events call me to otherwise choose a different passage for the sermon text. This week in private scripture, I found myself reading a passage of two combined stories from Mark 5:21-43 about a healing and the raising of someone from the dead. It captured my attention. So this week I will NOT be preaching from one of the assigned lectionary texts.

I’ve read this passage on many occasions and I’m always struck by new things one can gleam from these two intertwined stories. The two things I noticed about these stories upon this reading were: (1) The “People Who Don’t Take No For An Answer” which I’ll preach about on Sunday; (2) “The Importance of Today and being present in the moment” which I want to address in this Note from Pastor J R.

Next Friday, July 4, 2014, there will no doubt be many celebrations to honor the 238th Anniversary of our country’s Independence. There will be much preparation for the events of that day and rightly so. However, I wonder how many folks will be so focused on July 4th and its celebrations that they miss the goodness and possibilities of today and all of the days leading up to July 4th and afterwards. In the first half of the passage from Mark 5, a woman touched the clothes of Jesus and was healed. Jesus then demonstrated the importance of today and being present in the moment, by stopping to recognize and address this healing that had taken place during a busy time of travel and in the midst of a crowd of people.

The psalmist reminds us, “Today is the day that God has made.” It is a great gift, and there is only one today. The question is what will we do with it? July 4th or tomorrow may be something to look forward to, but what we have been given is today. To paraphrase Marian Elderman Wright: Today is all we have and it is an unrepeatable miracle.

I know that the days can all run together. They can fly by, or we can rise to each new one determined to make it count. Reverend Michael Piazza shares these wonderful words of wisdom,

“Today. It’s all you got, so:

  • Do something to make life better for someone other than yourself.
  • Do something that will make a memory.
  • Do something fun and funny.
  • Do something you’ve never done before.
  • Do something you might never do again.
  • Talk to someone you haven’t talked to in a long time.
  • Tell them that you love them because you may never get to say it again.”

In other words, be one of the “People Who Don’t Take ‘NO’ For An Answer” when it comes to the importance of today and being present in this moment. Also, I invite you to be present with us in worship at Covenant this Sunday before July 4th. I will be preaching a sermon titled “People Who Don’t Take ‘NO’ For An Answer.” The scriptural text for this sermon is Mark 5:21-43.

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