APRIL MESSAGE FROM
April is a month of many fast changes. One day we might be enjoying temperatures in the 80’s, with sunshine, and a light breeze. The next day might bring a blizzard with strong winds and 15 inches of wet snow.
How appropriate that on Thursday, April 25, the Church remembers St. Mark, the Apostle. According to God’s direction, during his Apostleship, St. Mark worked with many other Apostles, and with each and every change, the Almighty blessed the work of St. Mark.
He was also known as “John Mark”. The name, “Mark” means, “large hammer”. St. Mark was the son of “Mary of Jerusalem”. She was a relative of St. Barnabas, who convinced the Apostle, St. Paul, to take
St. Mark with them on his First Missionary Journey. Along the way, a dispute arose between St. Paul and St. Mark, and St. Mark returned to Jerusalem, while St. Paul and St. Barnabas continued on their Missionary Journey. This was a significant change.
The time arrived for the Second Missionary Journey of St. Paul to be planned. St. Barnabas wanted again to bring St. Mark along. St. Paul would not allow this, because he viewed the past as St. Mark giving up and abandoning them. This resulted in another change. St. Paul then went on his Second Missionary Journey with Silas, and St. Barnabas took St. Mark with him to do missionary work in Cyprus.
After this, St. Mark then worked with the Apostle St. Peter in Babylon. (1Pet.5:13). This was followed with St. Mark working with St. Timothy in Ephesus. (Col. 4:10, and Philemon 24). While working in Ephesus, St. Paul the Apostle, now in prison, requested that St. Mark be sent to him to work with him as a scribe. The two got together and reconciled, and worked together. Reconciliation always brings a nice change. Many Bible scholars believe that it was at this time, that St. Mark under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote the Second Gospel of the New Testament.
Following this, St. Peter then sent St. Mark down to Egypt to do Missionary work. While working in Egypt, St. Mark established the Christian Church of Alexandria, where he also became Bishop. It was in Egypt where St. Mark suffered martyrdom and was put to death for the Christian faith during the 8th year of Nero.
Looking over the life of St. Mark, one notices all the changes. Sometimes life is not a straight line, but rather a zig-zagged line, that goes back and forth, and here and there. It is written in Proverbs 16: 9, that, “in his heart, a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” What a comfort it is to know that God is always in control, as the manifold changes of this life and world take place in our life, as our God continues to shape and mold us into what He wants us to be.
Have a Great April Pastor Rick