Speaking Truth and Life (Mk 6:20) by Pastor Don Bird

29 Aug Speaking Truth and Life (Mk 6:20) by Pastor Don Bird

St John the BaptistWelcome God now with this LIFE Group Devotion (FB), provided by LIFE Runners (FB).  Leaders.  Guest Authors.
“…for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him.” ~ (Mk 6:20) (full readings)
Pastor Don’s Reflections:  On this day in which we memorialize Saint John the Baptist, we are reminded, not only about his death, but also about his life and message.  John is like the crazy uncle in the family tree – unconventional in his lifestyle (wearing camel’s hair, eating locusts, etc.), lacking diplomacy (calling a spade and spade), and strangely charismatic (people wanted to be around him).  John spoke directly to the injustices that presented themselves in his world, whether it be the misdeeds of the religious elite or the marital habits of the authorities in government (Herod’s marriage to Herodias).  Injustices to which many in his world had turned a blind eye.  John’s courage came from his knowledge that his life was preparing the way for the coming Messiah – the One who would reveal the Kingdom of God!  While John’s courage certainly inspires me in my own faith and prompts me to speak to the injustice of abortion and the lasting affects it has on families and society, I am more struck in the Bible story with Herod’s role in John’s death.  Even though Herod’s wife, Herodias, wanted John dead, Herod had an affinity for John.  He protected John by placing him in prison and visiting him often.  He knew he was a holy man and that he spoke to a truth that was beyond his own understanding.  Yet, Herod, a very powerful man, displayed incredible weakness.  To protect his own image, to feed his own ego, to ensure that people would continue to like him…he knowingly allowed for an injustice to be perpetrated in his name.  I wonder how many times I have done the same?  As those who follow Christ, we are Christ-bearers in the world.  When we advocate for the life of the unborn, when we love the mothers who are considering an abortion and those who live with the decision, when we work toward strengthening the life-fabric in our society and world – we do it with the strength that Christ offers and we do it in His name.  When we are tempted to forego the conflicts or become fearful of what others may think, may we stay the course and adhere to the mission God has set before us to speak truth and life into the dark and dying corners of our world.
* Pastor Don Bird is the Lead Pastor at Hope United Methodist Church in Greenwood Village, CO.  He lives in Aurora, CO with his wife of 16 years, Mandy, and his two children, Ethan and Haleigh.
Faith Challenge:  Understand that your decision to protect life may make you unpopular.  Prepare yourself now for the next opportunity to speak truth and life into the dark and dying corners of our world.

Counter-Culture News: LifeSiteNewsLifeNewsAmerican FamilyVaticanProject Rachel.
Our Prayers: Prayer to end abortionLIFE Runners Creed & Patron Saint. Add Prayers. Pray with meals, bedtime, wake up, etc. Consider mid-week Family Rosary (17 min). Let’s pray now.
Feast Day:
  Memorial of the Passion of Saint John the Baptist.
Faith Quote:  “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~ Edmund Burke
Through Christ Our Lord,
Pastor Don 
James 1:22-25

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