This week Sarah finishes our series looking at counter-cultural mission. We expose how there is an enchantment over the land and whilst fog and confusion has descended upon us the clarity and call of God is as clear as it has ever been. We are reminded of the passion and love God has for His creation, that He refuses to let this be the story and He is awakening us as His messengers.
Resilient disciples prioritise relationships, community and belonging rather than submitting to culture’s tenet of idolising personal autonomy. Mark, through Ephesians 4, highlights that when we draw close to Christ, we learn to operate out of the new self – this posture demands we look beyond ourselves. It cultivates meaningful relationships and community; illuminating Christ's presence in and through us.
Resilient disciples are able to observe culture and orient themselves through abiding in the word and spirit. Mark continues in the book of Daniel, illuminating the ways in which Daniel was able to bless those that marginalised him by operating in wisdom and discernment that came from abiding in God alone.
Resilient disciples are marked by a posture of resolve; a resolve that sees us seek, reside and flourish in intimacy with Jesus. Mark explores this alongside Daniel 1 which details an individual who, in the face of cultural coercion, resolves to follow God’s way.
Opening our series, Faith for Exiles, Mark posits that we are at a threshold moment where the church, both locally and globally, must step into living as resilient disciples. In light of both the Barna group’s research into faith and culture and the story of David and Goliath, Mark reminds us of the hope we have in a God who bigger than the giants of our time.
Facing rejection and grief Jesus retreats from the busyness of his work to find a quiet place to be alone. When he gets there he's faced, not by silence, but by need.
What can we as modern disciples of Jesus learn from one strange story of how Jesus turns a little bit of food into a lot more?
Psalm 77 opens with the Psalmist in lament and chaos but a turning point sees the psalmist turn to praise. Mark invites us to see that renewal of our often chaotic inner worlds requires us to stop, turn and allow God to fight our battles as we praise and remember Him for who He is and what he does.