Week beginning April 22nd
The Message: Mark 16: 19 – 20 [closing verses] ‘Then the Master Jesus, after briefing them, was taken up to Heaven, and he sat down beside God in the place of honour. And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.’
It is hard to believe something that we have only heard about. We need to see or experience to gain understanding. Human nature so often looks for ‘proof’. When the women found the stone rolled back and Jesus tomb empty, the disciples didn’t at first believe them. They needed to see for themselves. The travellers on the Emmaus road needed to see Jesus unique way of breaking bread in order to recognise that Jesus was truly with them. Thomas needed to see Jesus’ wounds; Mary Magdalene was not believed that she had seen and spoken to Jesus in the garden. So, it is interesting to read that Jesus worked with the disciples as they began to spread the message without him physically present. Yet, we are told he was right there with them, validating their work and providing evidence.
Much of our society requires evidence before action can be taken to approve a policy, show success in a given field, or ‘prove’ that something – good or bad – has taken place. Only then will action for change be taken.
We ask for strength of faith that we can gain in understanding of Christ’s life. We seek to believe that Christ lived as a man, was killed for our sakes and resurrected from the dead. Like Thomas, we sometimes struggle to fully comprehend what happened, yet Jesus said ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’ [John 20:29] May we be blessed with conviction as we seek to follow Christ’s example, living lives caring for others, and showing respect for people whatever their circumstance. Keep us alert to see the signs in the world around us of God’s faithfulness.
We pray for all who are required to provide evidence for verification of their activities, where this can cause significant pressure and concern where it is perceived as a sign that an individual is not completely trusted.
In our time many organisations in our society now require evidence that work has been done and standards achieved. We pray that you will sustain and give strength to all who work to provide knowledge and skills for education and business through sharing, demonstrating, mentoring.
We pray for all who are in situations of learning, wherever they may be. May they learn effectively, retain the learnt knowledge and skills, and be confident to transfer their knowledge to new areas as appropriate.