The Lenten season brings a new sermon series that will guide us through this introspective time through the lens of Rehab. Following scriptures from the Revised Common Lectionary, each week will bring us into explorations of: wilderness, intervention, program, recovery, and promise.
Note: Sunday’s sermon will be brought by Pastor Christopher.
This Sunday, we consider our faith as a means of intervention. The journey of faith is not easy, and as we experience this Lenten season the journey takes us through difficult places and times. It is important that we do so because we must – as Jesus instructed – take up our crosses and deny ourselves. We must sometimes face the harsh reality that we are unable to manage this wilderness on our own. Instead, we have to give up control.
It is humbling to admit that we can’t fix our brokenness on our own, that the disease or evil has gained control over us and that we need intervention to get out from underneath the weight of the wilderness. We must admit our shortcomings and failures, take a deep breath, trust in those who love us and in the healing power of grace, and walk bravely into the depths of our pain and suffering.
And being a Christian is not a magic pill that we can take to avoid this suffering. But when we are in Christ, the pain and suffering and evil and death no longer have dominion over us. On the other side of the pain and suffering and evil and death, we know there is the promise of resurrection. We must endure these things, and in doing so we gain the strength to persist as we look toward life everlasting.
Mark 8:31-38 (CEB)
31Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Human One must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests, and the legal experts, and be killed, and then, after three days, rise from the dead.” 32He said this plainly. But Peter took hold of Jesus and, scolding him, began to correct him. 33Jesus turned and looked at his disciples, then sternly corrected Peter: “Get behind me, Satan. You are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.”
34After calling the crowd together with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 35All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them. 36Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? 37What will people give in exchange for their lives? 38Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
Consider these questions:
- What is the breaking point at which you know you need to make a change?
- How does your faith both challenge you and encourage when you are “in the wilderness?”