Psalm 23, Hebrews7: 23-28, Mark 10: 46-52
October 28, 2018
It is with some regret and humility that today, I am admitting to the fact that I have selective hearing. Julie was telling me that just the other day...well, that's what I think she said, I wasn't really listening. We men have a terrible reputation as selective listeners. The cartoon on your bulletin isn't all that far off. But selective listening isn't all bad. In fact, it is essential for every one of us to develop this trait; without it we'd be inundated with voices and noise. We need to be able to pick out particular voices in a crowd or it would all be just gobbledegook. For those of you adjusting to hearing aids, I understand that this is what you experience when you start; you hear so much you have a hard time selecting the voice that you are listening for.
Now you may wonder why I'm talking about selective hearing when our gospel reading is about Bartimaeus receiving his sight. As I review the story, perhaps you will pick up what my angle is.
Job 38: 1-7; Hebrews 5: 1-10; Mark 10: 35-45
October 21, 2018 Ecumen
I looked up the meaning of my title today, and I think you will see it reflected in the gospel lesson today. High flying: “marked by extravagance, pretension, or excessive ambition.” James and John certainly seem to be marked in this story by excessive ambition and pretension. Jesus was bringing the Kingdom of God to pass, and they were busy seeking to be the highest ranking disciples there, even though they didn't understand what that would look like. But as we have been reading in the gospel of Mark this year, Jesus has continually stressed that personal ambition for greatness has no place in God's kingdom. Twice Jesus has told his followers, “The first shall be last.” He told them that to save their lives, they must lose their lives. And that, in order to enter the kingdom, they must become like children. And three times he has told them that he is to suffer and die, including the prelude to today's reading. The trouble was, as Jesus declared to Peter back in chapter 8, their minds were set on human things rather than divine things. (Mark 8:33). So our question today is, what does it mean to be honorably ambitious in divine things and when can ambition lead us astray? How do we fly high as followers of Jesus?
Job 23: 1-9, 16-17; Hebrews 4:12-16; Mark 10: 17-31
October 14, 2018
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. This is not a pleasant subject to preach on or to hear about. In fact, I have passed on this topic to Judy and Amy the past two Octobers. Today, we will once again look at an ugly side of humanity with an eye toward hope through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In our gospel reading, the young man addresses Jesus, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” We don't have any argument that Jesus is good; Jesus is God. But is he correct when he says no one is good? Are none of us gathered here this morning good?
Job 1:1; 2:1-10; Hebrews 1:1-4; 2:5-12; Mark 10:2-16
October 2, 2018
Our New Testament readings today certainly can draw our minds to families. In Hebrews, the author wrote about God and angels and Jesus. But as the reading concludes, we heard Judy read, “For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.” We are sanctified; we are siblings of Jesus.
In Mark, I read about marriage; husbands and wives intended to become one flesh; spouses. And then, “People were bringing little children to (Jesus) in order that he might touch them.” Siblings, Spouses and Children . But as we look at the readings, these family groups are never really discussed as any kind of unit. Each one picked out to make a particular point. And so for today's three point sermon, we will look at how each of these family parts speak to us in our relationships in God.