September 23, 2018
September 23, 2018 | In our reading from Mark’s gospel this week we find the disciples arguing about which one of them is the greatest. The culture that they have been apart of has moulded them to be this way. They only understand relationships in terms of hierarchy based on class, gender and age. But they’ve been hanging around Jesus long enough to know that Jesus is thoroughly countercultural. And so the disciples lapse into embarrassed silence when Jesus asks them about the content of their argument.
The disciples expect something countercultural and that’s exactly what Jesus gives them: “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” To illustrate the revolutionary nature of this statement, Jesus brings a small child and places the child among the disciples – not before them or after them, but among them. “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.”
September 17, 2018
September 16th, 2018 | Jesus and his disciples are ‘on the way’ in an area that they would have regarded as sacred because of its proximity to the source of the River Jordan and also Mount Harmon. In this episode they are in the district around Caesarea Philippi, where Herod the Great had built a temple and renamed the town after the emperor. There the Greeks had worshipped the god Pan, a god of nature.
In our reading this week Jesus’ questions directly the disciples. First, “who do people say that I am?” And then, “who do you say that I am?” (v.27), a question that Mark is addressing to the reader of his Gospel. The disciples reply that they associate Jesus with previous prophets. Jesus reiterates that a prophetic ministry, speaking truth to power, carries with it the perils of suffering and death.
September 10, 2018
September 9, 2018 | Why did Jesus go to Tyre (modern day Lebanon)? In our reading this week from the Gospel of Mark he hints at an answer in saying “He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there.” It may be that Jesus needed some peace and quiet after having to interact with those extra grace required Pharisees and teachers of the law. Self righteous religious people are just not very appealing, are they?
Despite not wanting anyone to know where he was, Jesus was unable to keep his presence a secret. In this case, a Syro-Phoenician woman finds Jesus. Her daughter is possessed by a demon. It is her persistence and faith that makes things right for her once again.
What problems do we face? Maybe it’s a family issue like the Syro-Phoenician woman had. Maybe it’s a job challenge. Maybe it’s a financial challenge. Are we willing to come to Jesus with this challenge and trust that he will carry us through in his love and power? This is our call to commendable faith.
September 4, 2018
September 2, 2018 | Missed us Sunday morning? No problem. Tune in now as our special guest speaker Dianne Smith joins us to share a message.