Everybody needs a little forgiveness.
I wished there existed someone to whom I could say that I was sorry.
—Thomas Fowler in The Quiet American, by Graham Greene
The historian…simply cannot portray the progress of humanity honestly, without giving a foremost place to a penniless teacher of Nazareth of Galilee. Though He left no impress on the historical record of his time, more than nineteen hundred years later, a historian like myself who doesn’t even call himself a Christian, finds the picture centering irresistibly around the life and character of this man.
Sermon Summary: This Sunday we remember the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. As we consider the Spirit’s mission to build God’s kingdom, we also ask, what qualifies a person for life in the kingdom? Come and hear God’s Word from the book of Mark.
Passage to Consider: Mark 2:1–17
1 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” 12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
13 He went out again beside the sea, and all the crowd was coming to him, and he was teaching them. 14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. 15 And as he reclined at table in his house, many tax collectors and sinners were reclining with Jesus and his disciples, for there were many who followed him.16 And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17 And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Confession of Sin:
We humbly confess our sins and ask for your mercy.
We have not loved you with a pure heart.
We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves.
We have not done justice, loved kindness,
or walked humbly with you.
Have mercy on us, O God, and cleanse us from our sin.
Create in us a clean heart
and renew a right spirit within us.
Do not cast us from your presence,
or take your Holy Spirit from us.
Restore to us the joy of your salvation
through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Song to Consider: There is Power in the Blood