Sermons on Mark
Through the story of Judas we are reminded that we grow in faith in many different ways.
This week we are exploring the story of Mary Magdalene with guest speaker and Sunday School Director, Dart Rhoades.
This section of Mark is known as “apocalyptic” and it points our hearts, minds and spirits to that which God is revealing in our midst. It encourages us to ponder if and how God is afoot—with life, hope, promise—even in times when things appear to be falling apart.
As Christians, we speak about love, we sing about love, we pray about love, we talk about love…the word love is so familiar and embedded in every aspect of our faith that it’s possible to hear the Great Commandment and miss the truly radical and life-altering nature of this divine call!
Our scripture reading for Sunday draws us into the world of Bartimaeus, a blind man begging on the streets, whose encounter with Jesus not only changed him but the entire community around him.
Ken Brown, our Lay Leader and Church Council Chair, will be offering the sermon this week. We are so blessed to have Ken’s leadership each and every day and I know we will be inspired by his words and witness this Sunday!
Today’s scripture passage from Mark highlights an age old challenge for people of faith…where and how we draw the circle of who is on the inside and who is on the outside. While we might like to believe that our circle is always wide open, the truth is that we struggle at times with “us” and “them.”
None of us covet “last place” and many of us, understandably, hope for “first.” But this week Jesus turns that notion upside down, talking in apparent circles…last is first and first is last.
Our reading from Mark’s gospel takes us into the heart of a heated exchange between Jesus and some of the religious leaders. The religious leaders ask a question about Jesus’ disciples that is clearly more of an accusation than a genuine question. They want to know why Jesus’ disciples don’t all wash their hands according to the purity laws before eating. Jesus, drawing on the words of the prophet Isaiah, calls them out for honoring God “with their lips” while their hearts are far away.
Today we’ll explore the value of making space for one another’s pain on both a personal level and in the public domain. We’ll also dig into our scripture passage from Mark with its reminders that the Divine not only doesn’t shy away from human suffering but always seems to be right in the thick of it.