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  • Writer's pictureJohn Bryant

Mark 9:38-41: Changed by Offering

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,[f] and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

I am moved by this. We do things now because people are good or bad or ugly or beautiful or sad or happy or miserable or afflicted or clean or stinky or safe or dangerous or well or unwell but because they are Christ’s. Or might be Christ’s, if Christ could even be on display by a cup of cold water. .

To know that even a cup of cold water can become a sign of our life in Christ. We have now a life in Christ that includes me handing you water and you receiving water, you holding out water and me receiving water. All of ordinary life, every small offering, everything given or taken, is now a revelation. Every ordinary thing is now a means of revelation, a way of making Christ known or being known by Christ.

To know that no mercy is wasted, that it all matters. That there is a reward, not a reward where we get something, perhaps, but a reward where we ourselves are changed, transfigured. Changed as we bear witness, changed by the one we bear witness to by offering. The reward is to be changed by offering the cup of cold water.

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