Posts by Bob Rhodes
Although we are transitioning into November, we are taking this Sunday to conclude our annual Stewardship series. This final Sunday acknowledges that we often take great pride in doing things ourselves, and perhaps we can do so in how we commit to giving our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service, and our witness in support of these ministries.
This Sunday’s text invites us to dream about possibilities and what can happen when we come together fully and completely in Christian community. None of us are alone on this journey of faith. When we come together as the body of Christ, we can do all things through the power of the One who gives us strength.
In this Sunday’s text, Paul focuses on God’s generosity as he invites the church in Corinth to be generous. In part, Paul frames it as a response out of gratitude. “Thank God for his gift that words can’t describe!”
As Paul is departing Ephesus, he tells the leaders of that faith community that it is more blessed to give than to receive. This week, we will hear from PB UMC member Mavi as she shares how she has been blessed…
This text includes the familiar setting of busy-ness, as “many people [are] coming and going.” In the busy-ness, the disciples pro-actively realize that the people will become hungry; they also see that their own resources are limited. But Jesus knows that a little is enough…
As we conclude this journey through the Gospel of Mark, we arrive at both ending and beginning. This selected text includes a brief excerpt from the drama of Jesus’ arrest. But this isn’t where the story ends. When the world is at its darkest, the sun begins to rise. Just as Jesus has defied social norms throughout his life, he even defies death.
As we continue in the passion narrative in the Gospel of Mark, we come to a moment that is among the most holy in our Worship experience. Among the various Christian traditions, a near universal celebration is the sacrament of Holy Communion, rooted in this text.
In this Sunday’s text, we learn that it’s not just the religious leaders who are frustrated about Jesus’ presence and teaching. As it turns out, there are even some in Jesus’ inner circle who become angry. But Jesus teaches that their priorities are – once again – off the mark.
As a community of faith, I believe we are on this journey together. In covenanting together, we experience a collective community who supports and cares for one another in vital and life-giving ways.
The scripture for this Sunday is a bit broken up, and part of what we’re exploring is just a portion of a Biblical literary device known academically as a “Markan Frame.” Separating this out helps us to focus on what we might discern from this focused portion of the text.