Monday

5 November 2018

Mark 4:21-25

'For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!' (vs 22-23)

Psalm: Psalm 28:1-2, 6-9
Singing The Faith 346: Christ is the world's light

Background

Yesterday we thought about remembrance and remembering. Today, 5 November,, is another day for remembering – “Remember, Remember the fifth of November, gunpowder, treason and plot” as the rhyme goes. English tradition is for fireworks and bonfires and families gather to send lights high into the sky. We are reminded by today’s reading from Mark’s Gospel that a light hidden under a basket is serving no useful purpose. A firework retained in a bucket is serving no purpose, is not fulfilling its intention, its splendour is hidden.

When we think of our overall topic of healing and wholeness, we can reflect that our wholeness is very much a matter of fulfilment of intention and completion of purpose. Wholeness is about being in a good state of heart and mind and soul – no matter what our physical situation. Whilst wholeness and healing are close allies, they do not necessarily lead to, or flow from, the cure of our ailments. Being in Christ and with God is the means by which such wholeness is encountered. Having that light within us, shining though us, radiating from us, is the manner in which such wholeness shows itself.

Fred Pratt Green’s hymn reminds us that Christ is the world’s light, peace and life. The psalmist writes about our reliance upon God and recognises that we have no strength if we are not in God. In God we find our place of refuge and trust. Mark’s Gospel reminds us that the light that shines from us, which is not to be hidden, finds its source in the greater light of Christ. We are encouraged, through good times and bad, to find our place in Christ and so be brought into the presence of God to whom glory is due. With the psalmist we offer God worship and blessing as our hearts exult and our songs express our thanksgiving.

The gospel passage reminds us to let our light shine out. Likewise, we are challenged to let that wholeness, which we find in God’s strength, be visible to those around us. We are challenged to do so not for the purpose of demonstrating our greatness of faith, but for the purpose of proclaiming the glory of God.

To Ponder

  • Sometimes we are shy at proclaiming our faith and really do hide our light. How easy do you find it to be open about being a Christian and what prevents you from being more open?
  • How can the Church help us to develop skills in personal evangelism and encourage us to speak of the things of God?

Bible notes author

The Revd Dr Adrian Burdon

The Revd Dr Adrian Burdon is Superintendent Minister of the Shaw & Royton Circuit in the Manchester & Stockport District. Adrian has been a presbyter since 1988 and, in addition to urban Lancashire, has worked on the Fylde Coast, in Leeds City Centre, the North East of England and as a mission partner in the South Pacific. Adrian is Chair of the CTBI Writing group which writes material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and serves on the liturgical subcommittee of the Methodist Church.