Messages from OUR PASTOR

Sunday, October 17, 2021
21st After Pentecost

Introduction

Today’s gospel starts with disciples obsessing over who will be closest to Jesus, leading to Jesus teaching his followers about God’s take on importance and power. Here Jesus makes it explicit that the reversal of values in God’s community is a direct challenge to the values of the dominant culture, where wielding power over others is what makes you great. When we pray “your kingdom come” we are praying for an end to tyranny and oppression. We pray this gathered around the cross, a sign of great shame transformed to be the sign of great honor and service.

Readings and Psalm

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Sunday, October 10, 2021
20th After Pentecost

Introduction

The rich man who comes to ask Jesus what he should do to inherit eternal life is a good man, sincere in his asking. Mark’s gospel is alone in saying that Jesus looked on him and loved him. Out of love, not as judgment, Jesus offers him an open door to life: sell all you own and give it to the poor. Our culture bombards us with the message that we will find life by consuming. Our assemblies counter this message with the invitation to find life by divesting for the sake of the other.

Readings and Psalm

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Sunday, October 3, 2021
19th After Pentecost

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Sunday, September 26, 2021
18th After Pentecost

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Sunday, September 19, 2021
17th After Pentecost

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Sunday, September 12, 2021
16th After Pentecost

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Sunday, September 5, 2021
15th After Pentecost

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Sunday, August 29, 2021
14th After Pentecost

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Sunday, August 22, 2021
13th After Pentecost

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Sunday, August 15, 2021
12th After Pentecost

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Sunday, August 8, 2021
11th After Pentecost

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Sunday, August 1, 2021
10th After Pentecost

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Sunday, July 25, 2021
9th After Pentecost

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Sunday, July 18, 2021
8th After Pentecost

Introduction

Mark’s gospel makes clear how great is the press of the crowd, with its countless needs to be met, on Jesus and his disciples. Yet in today’s gospel Jesus advises his disciples to get away and rest, to take care of themselves. Sometimes we think that when others are in great need we shouldn’t think of ourselves at all; but Jesus also honors the caregivers’ need. We are sent from Christ’s table to care for others and for ourselves.

Readings and Psalm

Jeremiah 23:1-6  From David’s line, a righteous shepherd for Israel
Psalm 23  The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want. (Ps. 23:1)
Ephesians 2:11-22  Reconciled to God through Christ, our peace
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56  Christ healing the multitudes

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Sunday, July 11, 2021
7th After Pentecost

Introduction

When Amos reports his vision of God judging Israel for its mistreatment of the poor, he becomes a threat to the power of the priests and the king. John the Baptist also speaks truth to power, and Herod has him killed. In Herod’s fear that Jesus is John returned from the dead, we may hear hope for the oppressed: all the prophets killed through the ages are alive in Jesus. We are called to witness to justice in company with them, and to proclaim God’s saving love.

Readings and Psalm

Amos 7:7-15  The sign of the plumb line: God’s judgment on Israel
Psalm 85:8-13  I will listen to what the Lord God is saying. (Ps. 85:8)
Ephesians 1:3-14  Chosen in Christ to live to the praise of God’s glory
Mark 6:14-29  The death of John the Baptist

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Sunday, July 4, 2021
6th After Pentecost

Introduction

Jesus does great deeds of power and gives his disciples authority over demons. Yet none of this power is unilateral; it all must be received by faith. Jesus asks his disciples to go out without money or supplies, so that they will be dependent on how others receive them. When we are sent from the assembly to witness and to heal, we are asked to be vulnerable, to be dependent on the reception of others. The Spirit always operates in the “between”: between Jesus and his Abba, between Jesus and us, between you and me, between us and those to whom we are sent.

Readings and Psalm

Ezekiel 2:1-5  The call of Ezekiel
Psalm 123  Our eyes look to you, O God, until you show us your mercy. (Ps. 123:2)
2 Corinthians 12:2-10  God’s power made perfect in weakness
Mark 6:1-13  Sending of the Twelve to preach and heal

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