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Good Morning MVC - April 20th

by Joe Phenisee on April 20, 2020

Good Morning MVC 

I hope you are having a great start to your Monday.  
One of the things I’ve enjoyed about these morning check ins is all the post banter I get to engage in with you all. I never thought I would receive an email warning me about rooting for the Oklahoma City Thunder in Washington state, or having an elder type the words “Snoop Dogg,” to me,  or being called “extra” by Pastor Frank of all folks. This has truly been a new era of ministry.
Today, I wanted to share with you something that people close to me know all too well.  I’m cheap. 
If there’s a choice, I’ll go with Toasted O’s over Cheerios. My favorite drink at Starbucks is a venti water. My favorite bookstore is the Goodwill. If you were at the 2019 formal youth Christmas party, and 2018s Christmas Party... I’m wearing the same outfit, down to the socks and shoes. And yes, Chris Wilson, you totally called me out on it.  
If Jill has a say, I’ll be debuting a new outfit in 2020.  
Now it was brought to my attention, a couple days ago, that my concern over the cost of things isn’t just limited to what I purchase.  I’ve been meeting with a group of high schoolers every Friday, and I’ve had a lot of fun studying the Gospel of Mark with them.  Recently we just covered three back to back miracles that appear to be, at first glance, unrelated.  
In Mark 4:35, Jesus calms a storm. In Mark 5:1-20, Jesus heals the demoniac of the Gerasene's, and in Mark 5:21-43 Jesus heals a hemorrhaging woman and resurrects Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter. 
As we were discussing these stories, Annalise Wooster pointed out to the group how there seems to be a common theme that unites all threes: Namely, that following Jesus, or being around him, comes with significant costs.  
Jesus may have calmed the storm, but the fishing boat most certainly got damaged.  
Jesus may have performed a powerful exorcism, but he also ruined the Gerasene economy by tossing two thousand pigs into the sea.  
Jesus may have raised a little girl to life, but asking for Jesus’ help probably ruined Jairus’ reputation as a leader of Capernaum's synagogue. In all three instances, we see the Kingdom of God at work in Jesus, but it also comes with a high cost. So high, in fact, that the people of the Gerasene's beg Jesus to leave, fearing what he might do next.  
Annalise’s insight led our group to this provocative and challenging question: What is Jesus costing us today?  
I don’t think Annalise got the memo that it is my job to convict her, and not the other way around. Because here’s the thing, when it comes to Jesus, I don’t mind following him and I don’t mind him being around, so long as the cost is not too high. So long as my dreams of one day making over 70k, owning a nice home, having a family, and publishing a bestselling book on hermeneutics are left untouched. As long as Jesus does not take away the things I hope for, I’m okay with Jesus.  
But what if the cost of Jesus is to abandon one of these things, or all of these things?  Is the cost then too high? Will I, like the people of the Gerasene’s, chase Jesus out of my home before he touches the sacred keurig too? Or will I, like Jairus, cling to Jesus, trusting that whatever he has to offer far outweighs the loss?  
I hope, that by God’s grace, my answer and your answer to this problem will be as simple as what Lily Bjork said to our group. “I love my house, I love my life, but I guess it's nothing when compared to an eternity.”  
May we all have this sort of faith to run to Jesus, cling to him in this time, and may we have the courage to count everything, our hopes and plans and comforts, as a loss... that we may gain Christ. Because whenever he acts, and wherever he goes, there we see the goodness of God at work, and that, as Lily reminds, is worth everything.  

Have a wonderful day MVC, we love you, and God bless you.  See you this Thursday for worship and prayer.