Order vs. Ardor

I thought about titling this sermon:  “These Boots Were Made for Walking” mostly because the passage opens with Jesus walking through some grainfields…and in the second part of the passage he walks into the synagogue again.  But the point is not about walking.  It’s about how Jesus would have us think about the rolls of rules and love in our lives.  That being said, “What field is Jesus walking through in our lives, plucking ears of corn of from our sacred rituals?  Who is Jesus healing that we believe should remain sick?

Reading Mark 2:23-3:6

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A Home for Us

These few short verses are really all about family…or better a home that the family of God has when faith is shared…not the kind of home we think of when we think of bricks and mortar.  In a day and time when so many are searching for a sense of identity and belonging in so many different ways, the Apostle Paul’s contention is that identity is found not in and with the flesh or things of the flesh, in a relationship with God…NOT with another.

reading Romans 8:12-17

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Matthias Who?

Not only is the selection of Judas’ replacement among disciples a bit random, (they rolled the dice on the choices that were before them), both the winner of roll and the runner up, do not appear again in Scripture.  What’s more, we know very little about them beyond this passage. Perhaps this may give an occasion to think about those people in our lives we have forgotten, or who have had a role in shaping our faith but then seem to step out of lives or into other things.

Reading  Acts 1:1517, 21-26

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As the World Turns

No, NOT the soap opera that ran on CBS for 54 years, but as the WORLD turns, and churns, actually, Jesus has something to say about it and give to it. There is a lot in that word WORLD in John 3:1! Good and bad alike…But God’s love covers it all…every bit of it… especially the bad… and that’s really what makes it turn.

Reading John 3:14-21

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What’s with the Whip

I used to think that this scene on Jesus “cleansing the temple” as it’s often referred to, gave us license to take the whip, so to speak, to overturn any number of injustices as we perceive them. But one right puts a whole different perspective on this for me. Paul Shupe says, “The text pushes us to imagine Jesus entering our own sanctuaries and overturning our own cherished rationalizations and driving us out in the name of God”. How appropriate that the season of Lent offers us the freedom to confront this reality of our own brokenness.

Reading John 2:13-22

 

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Love is not painless

There is something about the cross! It can be found in some fashion in almost every church. But it’s to be much more than a symbol. It’s a call to a way of life… the way of a Jesus follower. What does this way and look like? It actually looks like a man…hanging on one.

Reading Mark 8:31-38

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Where are our Angels?

Mark does everything quickly in his gospel. Indeed “immediately” is his favorite word. But then, the spirit to DROVE HIM out into the wilderness, and not just for a little camping trip but for 40 days of hard labor, so to speak. Things slowed down a little bit for him perhaps. The fact that Jesus was IN THE WILDERNESS… might help us to think about our wildernesses and where Jesus just might be when we are with wild beasts and tempted by Satan. You also might help us see where the angels are who wait on us as they did him.

Readings Mark 1:9-15

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A terrifyingly beautiful thing

Fear and terror are everywhere in this text! In fact, it was such a terrifying experience that it was not shared with anyone for some time. What influence might this have on our sharing of “God moments” outside (or even inside) our faith community in this day and time? I think it may present a challenge for us to share what our encounters with God look like regardless or even ESPECIALLY, those terrifying ones. And may there also be some implications here for how we might HEAR such stories?

Readings Mark 9:2-9

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Call and Response

Jesus’ call to discipleship — “Come! Come on! Follow!” — is as compelling today as it was then. Our response — “immediately” — is just as urgent, not just to follow but to embrace a new way of life, a new identity, as followers of Jesus.

Reading Mark 1:14-20

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Where There’s a Whale There’s a Way

This wonderful story is so rich with meaning but will attempt to limit our thinking this morning to the reality that one just cannot flee from the call… or the Grace of God. (We need to remember “The Lord PROVIDED the whale for Jonah!)

Reading- Jonah 3:1-10


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