Scripture: Mark 1:35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, (Jesus) got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37 When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38 He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39 And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Observation: Jesus had spent the previous day healing many people, casting out demons from people, and so on. As you might expect, people in the surrounding communities came in droves looking to be healed. Yet Jesus didn’t stick around. Why not? Because although healing people is a wonderful thing to do, he had something more important to do – to proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God.
Application: Tomorrow we will be saying goodbye to Ms. Lisa Sawyers who has served our congregation as office manager for 17 years. Pastor Todd and I may be the faces up front much of the time, but Lisa runs the place behind the scenes. And while I am sad to see someone of such great competence and character leave for other opportunities, I understand that Lisa is pursuing her purpose. Staying at Rejoice would certainly be a good thing to do, but her purpose is to serve where the Lord leads. The Lord is leading her elsewhere and she has summoned the courage to say “yes”. I celebrate with her the beginning of a new chapter in her life, yet I will miss her immensely. More than she knows.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we meet many wonderful people in a lifetime, but some make a greater impact than others – people like Lisa, who has been a faithful servant to our church for many years. To me, she has been a treasured colleague and friend. Grant her your favor and your grace as she leaves for new adventures in your kingdom. And help those of us who remain to press on in her absence. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.