January 16, 2022
We are in the season after the Epiphany, when Jesus is revealed to the world as God’s Son. The themes that weave through this season include revelation, glory, baptism, and Christ as the Light of the World. There is a sense of celebration in this season, a sense of joy being released into the world as we recognize who Jesus is.
I don’t know about you, but these days I could use some joy. We wear ourselves out struggling with issues of greed and poverty, power and powerlessness, fear and anger, and an overwhelming sense of futility and weariness. People 2000 years ago had to deal with these same things. And yet, in the midst of it all, there was room for celebration. There was room for joy. And Jesus was right in the middle of it.
July 25, 2021
If you thought our sermon series on Living Like Jesus was going to be a checklist of Dos and Don’ts you may be disappointed by now. Living like Jesus isn’t that simple, is it? We have to look for God in the interruptions and depend on God alone to provide for our needs. When evil seems to be taking over, it’s only by claiming our identity in Christ that we can overcome that evil.
As we learned last week, we have to stay in the boat with Jesus, instead of running ahead to where we think he’s going. And living like Jesus means having gut-wrenching compassion for those who don’t know him. That means allowing ourselves to be touched as the “fringe of his cloak” in order to be Christ’s healing touch in the world. Living like Jesus is a pretty tall order. In fact, it requires our full commitment, our complete surrender.
Today we jump from the sixth chapter of Mark to the sixth chapter of John’s gospel to find a story that will serve as the hinge between our focus on Living Like Jesus, and the next few weeks’ focus on Christ as Bread for All. It’s the same story we would read in Mark 6 or Matthew 14 or Luke 9 – all four gospel writers tell this story. And I thought about using Mark’s version, just so we could wrap up Mark 6 and tie a nice bow on it. But I think it is just as important to begin the sixth chapter of John’s gospel at – well, the beginning. Continue reading