Dr. Gina Stewart

A Lenten Journal: A Pursuit of the Doctrine of Christ (First Saturday)

In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house and went off to a lonely place and prayed there. – Mark 1:35

Jesus became very popular in Capernaum and throughout Galilee.  He was the teacher of greater authority than that of the scribes and priest.  Demons proclaimed his holiness as he drove them out of their victims.  He healed all sorts of illnesses from fevers to skin diseases.  Despite his commands that the healed should keep the blessing to themselves, they couldn’t help but to tell others of the Lord’s power.

 

Continue On The Path (© John Gresham)

Yet Jesus did not get caught up in the praises of people.  He spent a lonely time in a lonely place to communicate with the father in heaven.  He healed out of compassion ordering that his evident power not be used to promote him.  And even when he left one place to the next seeking freedom of movement and found none, he resided in the empty places, yet still pursued by crowds.  True holy power is not necessarily defined by the number of people who gather around it.  True holy power is defined by how it seeks to be close to its source, how it responds to the needs it sees, and how it responds to the crowds that follow it.  Jesus didn’t get to big to go to his own prayer closet.  Nor did he have to pimp the people he showed mercy on to hype his name.  Nor did he revel in all of the attention given to him.

Let us not be swayed by the modern ministers who misuse their calling.  Let we  who are called to proclaim the Gospel not get caught up in ourselves.  Devote time alone to pray.  Give out of love with no desire for self glory.  Live humbly enough to have peace in mind.  If we are faithful in these things, people will come to us.  Perhaps in mass, or no more than a handful.  But, true holy power will draw those who seek healing and the word of God.

Yours in Christ,

Brother Cyprian Bluemood

Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene

P.S.  A special thanks to Dr. Gina Stewart who preached a fantastic sermon on this text “Crowd Control” at the Hampton University Minister’s Conference in 2009.