Mark 16:16,Study 28,Becoming Visible,
Well you might ask ...when are we going to get onto Psalm 108 ?
"OoooOO I know its frustrating is'nt it ? when we seem to get stuck in one place and things
don't seem to be moving ? ...well never mind we only have another 43 Psalms to go :D"
And so I'm sharing with you about some thoughts that came to me a few weeks ago and how
certain scriptures that we now see in the Light of todays society may have been read and
translated in other era's and times long ago
And I was considering mainly greaty britain in past times maybe around the 18th century or
At a time when villages and communities all around britain went to Church and may have even
paid to reserve their families seats , a time when the community revolved around "The Church"
or the local inn.
When you may have been born at home and brought up to be accepted as a member of your society
within your community
With everyone knowing everyone else and to be accepted and a part of that community going to
Church may not have been an option
My parents may have gone to that local Church all their lifes and their parents and so on
They may have well been marrie within that community Church and seen their parents buried
within the grounds of that Church
Most of my community activities may have centered around that Church from a young age
On the occasions when I did'nt go then the local vicar would have been asking where I was and
everyone would have noticed that someone was missing
It might have been expected of me to go through the family traditions maybe of repentance and
baptism or at least to be the same as the rest of the family
At this time in history and in this era, it may well have been very important to "fit in"
More emphasis would have been placed on "keeping up appearances"
Even though a proportion of the congregation may well have been living different lifes when outside
of the Church building and behind closed doors and within family units ...peoples lifes may have
been quite a different story....within the confines of the Church walls it would have been unacceptable
to be seen without my sunday best clothes
Remember at this time that the women was the home maker whom often had to follow the
"social norm" and divorce was unheard of but should this occur then she lost the rights to her
children and her home
Some may have had no choice but to work in workshops or cotton mills or face a life of segregation
working as prostitutes to live
And within this community I could not dare to be seen as "different"
To be gay or have any unacceptable social norm could be seen as "outcast"
And within this community I would be expected to follow the social norm, to be a believer and
to follow along with my family in the "Church tradition"
So at this time I may well have found myself as a "Christian" living in a "Christian country"
Even though my life outside and within four walls may not have reflected my community activities
And at this time and era although the Church building may have been full, God however may not
have been there (oooo what a thing to sayyyyy...how dare youuuuuuu)
I wonder where Jesus wouold have been at this time ? maybe walking and talking to those who
were segregated within this community ?
CONFORMING TO THE NORM
And so in this community I may well have been a "Christian" or seen as one
"I could argue that I was a believer and I was baptised as my whole family indeed were"
Now bringing and dragging myself back to this age and time in this so called modern era , I
may not be seen as a "Christian" as society and the "norm" has changed
Both era's of time but with two outcomes
One was "what we call now ..... "peer pressure" in the 1800's causing me to conform to to norm
The other now ...today being ...."What I want" causing me not to go through that traditional norm
based on how I translate the biblical understanding of Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
Within two differing societies and times I either could be seen as a Christian or not
So we could argue in this that the actual "act" and "participation" within my community does'nt
mean anything unless "There is an inward change"
This inward change which is The "Invisible" working of God within me causing a "visible" change
and participation within my community
In other words all my workings can be seen as nothing even though I have gone through the "process"
Now I'm going to give two short testimonies which may not seem much to others but which mean a lot to
The first is going to the sunday service and having the minister begin his preach and uttering these
exact same thoughts that had gone through my mind a few days earlier
As he began to speak it was like he had unzipped my mind and taken out the main thoughts that led to what
I began this study mesage with
The main thoughts were the catalyst for what I have just shared with you
And it was like having someone speak out the words in public,...the exact same thoughts that came to me a few days earlier
Now although this happens to me quite a lot and it is'nt anything new to me, I am still knocked for six
everytime it happens
I'm utterly amazed how God can speak to and through different people
The minister begam by speaking of the ages past when Churches were full and when most went to Church and
the words he spoke were the exact replication of the thoughts that began this messgae that I'm bringing
Now you might see this as my own thoughts and the minister speaking out those thoughts
You might see it as The Holy Spirit speaking and making things that were invisible to becoming "Visible"
Whatever or however you might see it, .....makes no difference to me or God
But I want to share another example of how God can make the "Invisible " visible
A-HEAD OF TIME
Now a few years ago on a day like any other day I was late for work as usual and rushed out forgetting to
put on my work shoes and I had also mislaid my smaller step ladder and on that day it just happens that
I had to work for a customer where I needed both things
Now going back a week before this I was working and as I worked I saw and felt something hit my head
And it was such that I said "woo" even though nothing had actually hit my head , but I knew that something
was about to happen
Now going back to this day in question
I was working up a ladder and only five feet from the ground and my thoughts went back to 20 years earlier
For some reason I remembered when I employed someone and this certain person used to ask me.....
"If you ever came off a ladder .....what would you do ? "
And I would always reply "well if I ever did come off a ladder I would probably give up this type of work"
Well my mind went back to this time for some reason .... and remember this was 20 years previously
Why did this thought come to me ? why had this thought suddenly invaded my mind ? after all this time ?
Well this thought came to me again and again and it impressed on me so much that as I came down from the ladder
I actaully said to myself "Yes you always said that if you came off a ladder you would give up"
And as I spoke those very words ......my foot slipped off the ladder rung and I fell between the rungs
Falling backwards I hit my head against a brick wall and laid there for some time before feeling my head
and finding blood on my hands
I rushed back home and got my wife to check the back of my head and then went straight back to work
I was okay but a little shaken and wondered what I might learn from this experience ?
Now was God trying to tell me what was about to happen ?
What was God saying ? I never quite made up my mind ...but one thing is for sure
God knew rthat this was about to happen and I knew it was about to happen
And it happened
God drew out something that was about to happen and told me before it ever happened
This is the God of the future...who knows all things