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Faith Daily | 21 February 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 540


Almighty God,

you have taught us through your Son

that love is the fulfilling of the law:

grant that we may love you with our whole heart,

and our neighbours as ourselves;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.


GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 9: 14-29


14When they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them. 15When the whole crowd saw him, they were immediately overcome with awe, and they ran forward to greet him. 16He asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17Someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought you my son; he has a spirit that makes him unable to speak; 18and whenever it seizes him, it dashes him down; and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid; and I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.” 19He answered them, “You faithless generation, how much longer must I be among you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him to me.” 20And they brought the boy to him. When the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21Jesus asked the father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us.” 23Jesus said to him, “If you are able! —All things can be done for the one who believes.” 24Immediately the father of the child cried out, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25When Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You spirit that keeps this boy from speaking and hearing, I command you, come out of him, and never enter him again!” 26After crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he was able to stand. 28When he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29He said to them, “This kind can come out only through prayer.”you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written about him.”


GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d Sandra


As I step out again in faith on mission to the Northern Rivers District of NSW, it occurs to me that many of us know what it feels like to experience a time of spiritual renewal. There are times and seasons when we can see God more clearly and sense God’s presence more tangibly in our lives. And while those times are sweet, it is also true that there are times when we struggle to take God at his Word and trust God’s plan for our lives.


Mark gives us two passages that seem to mirror these differing experiences. In Mark 9.2-13 Jesus and 3 of his disciples are up on a mountain where Jesus is Transfigured and God speaks from Heaven. It is an incredible scene that reminds us of who Jesus is and that He can be trusted.


But when they come down from the mountain in today’s scripture, the scene abruptly changes. We are reminded of how fragile faith can be. As Peter, James, and John return to the rest of the disciples they come face to face with the realities of life in a fallen world.


And as we reflect on Mark’s account of a demon-possessed child, a desperate father and imperfect disciples, we are reminded of some important truths about the life of faith.


The weakness of people and the fallen nature of our world (9:14-18).

  1. An arguing crowd – reminiscent of the chaos Moses found as he returned from Mt Sinai

  2. A demon possessed boy and a helpless father

  3. The inability of the disciples even though they had been successful on other occasions.

The passage reminds us of our weaknesses as we are confronted with the pain and disappointment of living in a fallen world.

The power of honest faith and sincere dependence on God (9.20-24)

  1. The boy’s father recognizes his need. He comes to Jesus because of his need and is

hopeful that Jesus can help. But Jesus senses some doubt.

  1. Jesus does not promise that God will grant us everything we ask for, but he does call us to

ask in faith, knowing and believing that nothing is impossible for God.

He warns us that if we try to rely on our own strength alone, we will surely fail. And the good news my friends is that we don’t need to rely on our own strength, as Jesus is always with us.


FINAL PRAYER: Adapted from Celtic Daily Prayer


To whom O Lord, shall we go?

You alone have the words of eternal life,

and we have believed and have come to know

that you are the Holy One of God.

Praise be to You, Lord Jesus Christ,

King of endless glory. Amen

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