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05.06.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: Our culture says contribute; in the office we are encouraged to be team players, when submitting applications for college we list all our extracurricular activities, when we go to someone’s house for dinner we take a hostess gift or bottle of wine. This deeply ingrained idea of contributing transfers into our relationship with God, but what does he have to say about putting something forward? Come this Sunday as we look again in to Mark chapter 10.

 

 

REFLECTION:

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to thee for dress,
Helpless, look to thee for grace;
Foul, I to the Fountain fly;
Wash me, Saviour, or I die.

—Augustus Toplady

 

SCRIPTURE:

Deuteronomy 9:1,4a; 10:12-22

1“Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven,

4 “Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’

12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? 14 Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. 15 Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. 16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. 17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. 18 He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.19 Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.20 You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear. 21 He is your praise. He is your God, who has done for you these great and terrifying things that your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.

 

Mark 10:17-31

17 And as he [that is Jesus] was setting out on his journey, a man ran up and knelt before him and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 And Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother.’” 20 And he said to him, “Teacher, all these I have kept from my youth.” 21 And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22 Disheartened by the saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23 And Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How difficult it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how difficult it is[a]to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 And they were exceedingly astonished, and said to him,[b] “Then who can be saved?” 27 Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to say to him, “See, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Have mercy on us, O God,

according to your steadfast love;

according to your abundant mercy

blot out our transgressions.

Wash us thoroughly from our iniquity,

and cleanse us from our sin.

For we know our transgressions,

and our sin is ever before us.

Against you, you alone, have we sinned,

and done what is evil in your sight,

so that you are justified in your sentence

and blameless when you pass judgment.

You desire truth in the inward being;

therefore teach us wisdom in our secret heart.

Hide your face from our sins,

and blot out all our iniquities.

Create in us a clean heart, O God,

and put a new and right spirit within us.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

Oh, Great is our God! So we should worship greatly!
No song is too loud! No orchestra too stately
To hail the majesty of our King
So lift your voices loud as we sing

Oh! Great is our God! So let our songs be endless!
So awesome His ways, how could we comprehend them?
So we will make it known to our kids
And we will sing about the gracious gifts you give

We will sing your praise and pour forth your fame
We will bless your name
Let every one give thanks, because our God is great!

Oh! Great is our God! And we cannot contain it!
We sing from our souls, affected by His greatness
His mercy covers all that Heʼs made
Showing His glory and His grace

04.29.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: What is the role of children in this world and in God’s Kingdom? How are they to be valued? What do they have to contribute? What role do they play in the community of God’s people? Come this Sunday to see in the book of Mark how Jesus relates to children.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

—Pablo Picasso

 

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.

—Nelson Mandela

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 127:3-5

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,

   the fruit of the womb a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior

   are the children of one’s youth.

5 Blessed is the man

   who fills his quiver with them!

He shall not be put to shame

   when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

 

Mark 10:13-16

13 And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. 15 Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” 16 And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Dear Jesus,

It is hard to forgive people

when they hurt us and our friends.

We want to hit back –

and sometimes we do.

But you teach us to love our enemies

no matter what they do.

Forgive us, Lord Jesus,

when we do not forgive others.

Help us to understand why people hurt others,

and fill our hearts with love for them.

Amen.

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

Oh, Great is our God! So we should worship greatly!
No song is too loud! No orchestra too stately
To hail the majesty of our King
So lift your voices loud as we sing

Oh! Great is our God! So let our songs be endless!
So awesome His ways, how could we comprehend them?
So we will make it known to our kids
And we will sing about the gracious gifts you give

We will sing your praise and pour forth your fame
We will bless your name
Let every one give thanks, because our God is great!

Oh! Great is our God! And we cannot contain it!
We sing from our souls, affected by His greatness
His mercy covers all that Heʼs made
Showing His glory and His grace

04.22.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: For better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, in grocery shopping and house hunting, in sleepless nights and mornings before coffee, in spontaneity and boredom, in ecstacy and depression…whatever the language of your actual vows, one thing is clear–marriage is a full time job. Most married people want a better marriage, but few can agree on what that means. Could it be that the key to a healthy marriage is found in the teachings of a single man in the first century? Come find out this Sunday as we continue our series on the Mark’s Gospel.

 

 

REFLECTIONS

Life is war, and marriage provides us with a close and intimate ally with whom we may wage this war. The battle requires bold love, forgiveness, confrontation, and repentance.

—Dan B. Allender

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Genesis 2:18-25

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones

   and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called Woman,

   because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

 

 

Mark 10:1-12

1 And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them.

2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.”5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Most merciful God,

we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.

-Silent Confession-

 

04.15.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: Jesus’ teaching on marriage and divorce challenges our modern notions of independence, freedom, and our “right” to pursue happiness. Why does Jesus take marriage so seriously? Come and learn more as we continue our series in the book of Mark.

 

 

REFLECTIONS

Marriage is hard. For a man and a woman to build a life together, bringing their often conflicting needs and desires into a harmonious whole, is a great challenge, possible only through grace.

—Richard Hays

 

Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled.

—Hebrews 13:4

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Malachi 2:10, 13b-16

10 Have we not all one Father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our fathers?

13b You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand. 14 But you say, “Why does he not?” Because the Lord was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15 Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16 “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the Lord, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the Lord of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

 

Mark 10:1-12

1 And he left there and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan, and crowds gathered to him again. And again, as was his custom, he taught them.

2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.”5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Father, you have called us to love our neighbors as ourselves.

But we have been selfish.

Forgive us for using and abusing others,

For seeking to be served rather than serving.

Father, you have also called us to love you with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

But we have been unfaithful.

Forgive us for failing to love and worship you,

For pursuing idols rather than communion with you.

Triune God, have mercy on us and forgive us for our sins. Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

04.08.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: Jesus’ disciples found it difficult to believe what the Scriptures said about his suffering, death, and resurrection. Why was it that these followers, who sat face to face with Jesus, simply missed what he was saying? Come this Sunday to discover what Jesus says to his struggling disciples and to us, as we look at Luke 24:13-32.

 

 

REFLECTION:

To read the Bible as literature is like reading Moby Dick as a whaling manual or The Brothers Karamazov for its punctuation.

Frederick Buechner

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 119: 129–136

129 Your testimonies are wonderful;

   therefore my soul keeps them.

130 The unfolding of your words gives light;

   it imparts understanding to the simple.

131 I open my mouth and pant,

   because I long for your commandments.

132 Turn to me and be gracious to me,

   as is your way with those who love your name.

133 Keep steady my steps according to your promise,

   and let no iniquity get dominion over me.

134 Redeem me from man’s oppression,

   that I may keep your precepts.

135 Make your face shine upon your servant,

   and teach me your statutes.

136 My eyes shed streams of tears,

   because people do not keep your law.

 

 

Luke 24:13–32 (NLT)

13 That same day two of Jesus’ followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him.

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?”

They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. 18 Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.”

19 “What things?” Jesus asked.

“The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. 20 But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. 21 We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago.

22 “Then some women from our group of his followers were at his tomb early this morning, and they came back with an amazing report. 23 They said his body was missing, and they had seen angels who told them Jesus is alive! 24 Some of our men ran out to see, and sure enough, his body was gone, just as the women had said.”

25 Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. 26 Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” 27 Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

28 By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, 29 but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. 30 As they sat down to eat,[b] he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. 31 Suddenly, their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!

32 They said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts burn within us as he talked with us on the road and explained the Scriptures to us?”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

God, you spoke your word which gives us life.

Forgive us for listening to others instead of listening to your words.

Jesus, you show us how to live according to God’s ways.

Forgive us for charging ahead and forgetting to speak to you.  

Spirit, you remind us of all God has promised.

Forgive us for closing our ears to your quiet prompting. 

Father, teach us your ways and how to delight in your word. Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

04.01.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: From dust you have come; to dust you will return. Death of career, death of ambition, death of relationship, death of youth–we experience a thousand smaller deaths before they put us in the ground. On Easter Sunday, however, we celebrate a different death–the death of Death itself! For Christians all over the world, Easter is a promise of a new world where Death is buried and forgotten. Come this Sunday and hear about the man who put Death in his grave!

 

 

REFLECTION:

Seven Stanzas at Easter

By John Updike

 

Make no mistake: if he rose at all

It was as His body;

If the cell’s dissolution did not reverse, the molecule reknit,

The amino acids rekindle,

The Church will fall.

 

It was not as the flowers,

Each soft spring recurrent;

It was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled eyes of the

Eleven apostles;

It was as His flesh; ours.

 

The same hinged thumbs and toes

The same valved heart

That—pierced—died, withered, paused, and then regathered

Out of enduring Might

New strength to enclose.

 

Let us not mock God with metaphor,

Analogy, sidestepping, transcendence,

Making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the faded

Credulity of earlier ages:

Let us walk through the door.

 

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,

Not a stone in a story,

But the vast rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of

Time will eclipse for each of us

The wide light of day.

 

And if we have an angel at the tomb,

Make it a real angel,

Weighty with Max Planck’s quanta, vivid with hair, opaque in

The dawn light, robed in real linen

Spun on a definite loom.

 

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,

For our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,

Lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are embarrassed

By the miracle,

And crushed by remonstrance.

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Isaiah 25:6-9

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples

   a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,

   of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.

7 And he will swallow up on this mountain

   the covering that is cast over all peoples,

   the veil that is spread over all nations.

8     He will swallow up death forever;

and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,

   and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,

   for the Lord has spoken.

9 It will be said on that day,

   “Behold, this is our God; we have waited for him, that he might save us.

   This is the Lord; we have waited for him;

   let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”

 

Luke 24:1-12

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. 5 And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” 8 And they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, 11 but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened.

 

Romans 6:5–11

5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self[a] was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free[b]from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.

 

—Silent confessing—

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

03.25.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: This is it! If I acquire this degree, win this person’s love, get the desired promotion, or accepted into the right program, all will be well and my troubles will be over.” We are a people quick to worship what we think will save us. Come this Sunday to hear what the gospel of Mark says about the king we can trust.

 

 

REFLECTIONS:

Trust a crowd to look at the wrong end of a miracle every time.

—Kurt Vonnegut, Palm Sunday

 

How long? Not long, because the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice. How long? Not long, because mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.

—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Let every kindred, every tribe on this terrestrial ball, to Him all majesty ascribe, and crown Him Lord of all.

—Edward Perronet

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Psalm 118:19-29

Open to me the gates of righteousness,

   that I may enter through them

   and give thanks to the Lord.

20 This is the gate of the Lord;

   the righteous shall enter through it.

21 I thank you that you have answered me

   and have become my salvation.

22 The stone that the builders rejected

   has become the cornerstone.[b]

23 This is the Lord’s doing;

   it is marvelous in our eyes.

24 This is the day that the Lord has made;

   let us rejoice and be glad in it.

25 Save us, we pray, O Lord!

   O Lord, we pray, give us success!

26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!

   We bless you from the house of the Lord.

27 The Lord is God,

   and he has made his light to shine upon us.

Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,

   up to the horns of the altar!

28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;

   you are my God; I will extol you.

29 Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

   for his steadfast love endures forever!

 

Mark 11:1-11

Now when they drew near to Jerusalem, to Bethphage and Bethany, at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village in front of you, and immediately as you enter it you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Untie it and bring it. 3 If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord has need of it and will send it back here immediately.’” 4 And they went away and found a colt tied at a door outside in the street, and they untied it. 5 And some of those standing there said to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 And they told them what Jesus had said, and they let them go. 7 And they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it, and he sat on it. 8 And many spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut from the fields. 9 And those who went before and those who followed were shouting, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!”

11 And he entered Jerusalem and went into the temple. And when he had looked around at everything, as it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the twelve.

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

 

Almighty God, you have appointed Jesus King and crowned him Lord of all. We confess that we have not bowed before him or acknowledged his rule in our lives. We have failed to worship him and instead worshiped what we thought could save us.

 

—Silent confessing—

 

 

 

Forgive us from our from sin,

that we may be your faithful people,

Following our faithful King Jesus,

who rules the world and is head of the church, his body. Amen.

03.18.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: Our culture values fame, celebrity, and success–just look at how many TV viewing hours we’ve committed to the veneration of movie stars and elite athletes over the past month! But Jesus proposes a radically different dynamic for His kingdom: the way to greatness is the path of humility and humiliation. Come hear more about this surprising teaching as we continue to study the gospel of Mark.

 

 

REFLECTIONS

I want to be the greatest of all time and that’s my motivation. It’s that simple. It’s not that simple.

—LeBron James

You get low. You stay low.

—Jason Bourne

 

SCRIPTURE:

James 4:1-10

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

 

Mark 9:30–50

30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know,31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.

33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them,37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name,an d we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.

42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. 45 And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell. 47 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, 48 ‘where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ 49 For everyone will be salted with fire. 50 Salt is good, but if the salt has lost its saltiness, how will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

 

Jesus, you have said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,”

But we have been inflated with pride.

Forgive us for our self-sufficiency.

 

Jesus, you have said, “Blessed are those who mourn,”

But we have not been grieved by our sin.

Forgive us for our hard hearts.

 

Jesus, you have said, “Blessed are the meek and lowly,”

But we have despised weakness.

Forgive us for neglecting mercy.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

03.11.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: We live in a DIY culture that values independence, self-reliance, and resourcefulness. Whether it’s a kitchen table or a fortune, we like to say, “I made it myself.” Yet deep down we want someone we can trust to take care of us. We all need help, and we need it at the deepest level. Is there anyone we can depend on? Come find out this Sunday as we continue our series in the Gospel of Mark.

 

 

REFLECTIONS

Morality which depends upon the helplessness of a man or woman has not much to recommend it. Morality is rooted in the purity of our hearts.

—Mahatma Gandhi

Apart from me you can do nothing.

—Jesus Christ

 

SCRIPTURE:

Exodus 32:1-8

32 When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him, “Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 2 So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 4 And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord.” 6 And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play.

7 And the Lord said to Moses, “Go down, for your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves. 8 They have turned aside quickly out of the way that I commanded them. They have made for themselves a golden calf and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’”

 

Mark 9:14–29

14 And when they came to the disciples, they saw a great crowd around them, and scribes arguing with them. 15 And immediately all the crowd, when they saw him, were greatly amazed and ran up to him and greeted him. 16 And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” 17 And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. 18 And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” 19 And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” 20 And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. 21 And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. 22 And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” 23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’! All things are possible for one who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” 25 And when Jesus saw that a crowd came running together, he rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You mute and deaf spirit, I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” 26 And after crying out and convulsing him terribly, it came out, and the boy was like a corpse, so that most of them said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. 28 And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” 29 And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

Most merciful God
whose Son, Jesus Christ, was tempted in every way, yet was without sin,
we confess before you our own sinfulness;
we have hungered after that which does not satisfy;
we have compromised with evil;
we have doubted your power to protect us.
Forgive our lack of faith; have mercy on our weakness.
Restore in us such trust and love that we may walk in your ways and delight in doing your will. Amen.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER:

03.04.2018

 

 

SERMON SUMMARY: A taste of glory, in this world we all want it in some way; a little fame, distinction, kudos, or acclaim. We want it in our vocations, among our friends, and with our family members, could it also be true that we want it in our relationship with God? Come this Sunday to find out about glory and how it plays out in this life.

 

 

REFLECTIONS

 

No man ought to look for anything in heaven but what one way or other he hath some experience of in this life.

—John Owen

 

Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don’t have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see. Only, who could have the courage to see it?

—Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

 

And since the glory of [God’s] power and wisdom shine more brightly above, heaven is often called his palace [Ps. 11:4]. Yet … wherever you cast your eyes, there is no spot in the universe wherein you cannot discern at least some sparks of his glory. You cannot in one glance survey this most vast and beautiful system of the universe, in its wide expanse, without being completely overwhelmed by the boundless force of its brightness. … Certainly however much the glory of God shines forth, scarcely one man in a hundred is a true spectator of it.

—John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion

 

 

SCRIPTURE:

Exodus 24:1-2; 9-18

Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the Lord, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship from afar. 2 Moses alone shall come near to the Lord, but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.”

9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel. There was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. 11 And he did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; they beheld God, and ate and drank.

12 The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” 13 So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. 14 And he said to the elders, “Wait here for us until we return to you. And behold, Aaron and Hur are with you. Whoever has a dispute, let him go to them.”

15 Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain.16 The glory of the Lord dwelt on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it six days. And on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the midst of the cloud. 17 Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. 18 Moses entered the cloud and went up on the mountain. And Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

 

Mark 9:2-13

2 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, 3 and his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.4 And there appeared to them Elijah with Moses, and they were talking with Jesus.5 And Peter said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” 6 For he did not know what to say, for they were terrified. 7 And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” 8 And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only.

9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean.11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?”12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

 

 

CONFESSION OF SIN:

God of glory,

You are the fountain of all life and the true home of every heart.

 

We confess that we have loved other things more than you.

We have sought power, position, authority, and recognition.

 

We confess that we have not loved you with our whole hearts.

We have doubted your goodness, love, kindness, and mercy.

 

We confess that we have wanted the benefits of following you without the cost.  

We have refused to deny ourselves, speak up, and take action.

 

 

SONG TO CONSIDER: