Follow Me

Today’s sermon was an experiment with narrative preaching or preaching in the first person. It seemed appropriate to try this type of sermon since Mark was written in a style that invites the reader to join in the journey. After living in Palestine for awhile, watching Jesus at work and listening to his teaching; it’s time to come back to the 21st century and live in our world again. The real question is not what DID it mean to follow Jesus; but what DOES it mean today?

One thing we learn from studying Mark’s Gospel is that NOBODY follows Jesus without experiencing changes. Following Jesus requires changes in thinking, changes in attitudes, changes in what’s valued, and changes in actions. In other words, when someone follows Jesus they experience, not just a make-over, but a complete do-over!

As we study Mark’s portrayal of Jesus, it is encouraging to me that EVERYONE is in the process of discovery. We, as readers, are invited to join in as learners, students, and disciples. Nobody has Jesus all figured out (and the people who think they do are the most scary). We are always to be following and to continue learning.

I’m looking forward to our continued journeys together with Jesus. So, grab your walking stick and let’s keep following him wherever he leads. And when you go to your 21st century workplace tomorrow – remember who you are and keep following your leader.

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Byron FikePreaching Minister

Byron has been the preaching minister at Clear Lake since 1999. He and his wife have three grown children, who have also devoted their lives to serving the Lord. In his personal time, Byron likes to read books, watch movies, and play with his little dog Willie. He also is an avid follower of Alabama football, having grown up in Tuscaloosa during the glory days of Bear Bryant.


2 Responses to “Follow Me”

  1. avatar Amanda says:

    I loved the narrative preaching! Keep it up. :)

  2. avatar Ben F. says:

    Experiment success! I really liked that sermon Dad. You kept it at Mark's fast clip, which left me wanting more time to think things over and to revel at each scene! But I think that's part of the point of the speed. It really got at the disorienting nature of following Christ through life.

    I do wonder about the sea as a place of peace. It is interesting that the verbal conflicts with Pharisees never follow Jesus and his followers out there. However, I'm not so sure the sea was primarily a place of peace. I think that may be a little more Thoreau and Emerson than Mark. In the ancient world the sea symbolized chaos and conflict itself. Although, maybe that is a more compelling vision of peace – not the absence of conflict and chaos, as if that place exists this side of heaven. Maybe it's more being with Jesus in the presence of the swirling, dangerous chaos. Seeing how Jesus walks with peace even over its surface, and sleeps even amidst its storms that shows us that the things we fear most are not scary to Jesus. And that ordering our lives in a way that attempts to avoid conflict and chaos is not the pursuit of Christians. Christians follow Christ right through it. Now you've got me thinking! Great sermon from one of my favorite all-time preachers!

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