"If you will fear the Lord and serve him and heed his voice and not rebel against the commandment of the Lord, and if both you and the king who reigns over you will follow the Lord your God, it will be well; but if you will not heed the voice of the Lord, but rebel against the commandment of the Lord, then the hand of the Lord will be against you and your king."
"... for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope"
Our limitations are frustrating, but God knows we are not perfect. These imperfections are human nature, not fallen human nature, but simply who we are. God expects us to be better and so our limitations are our hope. They call us closer to the one who can make us not only better, but perfect when we join our efforts with God's grace.
"Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than any human authority."
An informed conscience has to be our moral and spiritual guide. Each week's bulletin reminds us: "Ministers: All who worship here." We can't pass that responsibility of conscience off to anyone else. The apostles knew this, and Paul once wrote: "Test everything; hold fast to what is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
"'... and [the Father] has given [Jesus] authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.'"
"Son of Man" is another way of saying "us." Divine judgment is in the hands of Jesus who has lived as us, who knows the trials, terrors, temptations and uncertainties of our lives in an often mean world. His humanity helps inspire His compassion.
Jesus' WOW factor
Luke 4:16-20 - The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’
And he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him.
At synagogue I have seen readers searching for a passage on a large biblical scroll. I can imagine a well-recognized Jesus searching for Isaiah 61 in ancient Nazareth. Amazement filled the congregation as they sensed a unique relationship between reader and text. All eyes were fixed on Jesus. Let's never forget Jesus' Wow Factor. Let's never let Jesus become boring or unchallenging. Let's keep eyes fixed on Him.
"And just as [Jesus] was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him."
"Torn apart" is the same Greek verb used to describe also the tearing of the Temple curtain upon the death of Jesus. It is BOTH the death and the life of Jesus that mark the uncompromising in-breaking of God's reign in our world. God doesn't hide in the heavens; God is present among us here, now. So let's make a difference.
"‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.'"
The New Revised Standard Version translation avoids using male terms when the obvious intent is all of us. However, "children" implies something less than the mature, respected responsibility of those who like Jesus struggle valiantly as "peacemakers" in a violence-prone world.
Mission & Outreach Discussion
Saturday, October 13th at 10AM - Rev. Corey Sanderson
These words probably weren't even part of Mark's original Gospel, but they still made it into the Bible anyway. There's something to ponder right there. They opened up the book to add that we must proclaim the Jesus story everywhere. So I guess the book is still open and being written - by us.
Jesus trusted the woman
Picture her terrified, unclothed and voiceless. She was caught "in the very act." Dragged brutally through the streets and among the ranting crowds into the precincts of the holy, and is there forced to stand in intentional humility.
Picture Jesus teaching the crowds and being interrupted by this mob. He knows better than to argue with zealots. He bends down. I wonder if He starts to draw the words of Deuteronomy 22:22-24.
The men won't turn on their own with the same vengeance they turned against the woman so they walk away.
Jesus was left alone with the woman. Weren't there crowds a moment ago? Is this alone with the woman a tuning out of everything and everyone else and Jesus was there just for her? I think so.
Jesus listened to the woman rather than the powerful, angry men.
First Day of Autumn 2018
This verse is remembered at so many milestone occasions, and also at those times like the first day of Autumn when change is so beautifully evident. I'm sure we all have different reactions and emotions associated with change. I'm reminded that we are temporal beings and that we're pilgrims on our way to something greater.
Appreciate the journey and hope in the destination.
Faith, love and chitchat.
Sunday 10-11am (9:30am July + August)
Children Sunday School 10-11am
Nursery care available during worship