Archive for September, 2015
John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell, where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched. “For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” [NRSV]
Hey, Who cares about the Pope, we are not Catholic
Jesus is more concerned about actions and relationships than titles and divisions
The Popes visit was somewhat historic, this guy is Pope and he had never traveled to the super power of nations.
There were surely folks at the Vatican who were saying:
we do t need to go on some foreign mission when we have so many folks in need here in Vatican City, Italy and Europe
the trip is a waste of money, they have churches they can take care of this themselves
just stay here and send the, a letter or post a YouTube video
The Pope Models our work as Christians
The Hierarchy of he church made sure the Pope had audiences with leaders, congress, the United Nations and benefactors of the church.
The Pope interrupted all the plans each day to make small difference in the lives of individuals.
Dont ignore the witness of Christ through the Pope
What was going on in the US Thursday? 8:00pm
- Thursday night football 3.2 million
- Bill ORiley 2.7M watching the news
- WWE Smackdown 2.3M watch the important professional wrestling
- 2.1 m watched mountain men on the history channel
- 1.9 watched the new episode of ‘ castle’
- 12 and a half million citizen age 2 and older were focused on watching TV
- 23 Million were estimated to be online
Popes modeling servanthood and we are media driven
2. If your not going to be modeling Christ, certainly don’t lead other astray
A) the old Miletone torture treatment: it’s a horrible statement from Jesus:
B) mangle the human body rather than leads the little/young in faith.
c) if you lead folks away from God by out example: the ultimate punishment is A hell never dying worms and flames that are an eternal torture.
If Jesus the Prince of Peace is working about all sorts of torture what’s going on here ?.
What must we do to avoid these terrible atrocities.
make grains of difference
feed someone and tell the, why you are feeding them for Jesus, not your salvation
clothe someone and tell them how God is working I their presence not making you safe
visit someone, befriend someone and you build a relationship of Jesus with us that is genuine and real
co fort and heal as Christ working and you share the work of Christ in Suffering terror filled world that is still afraid of red moons and and threats of war.
what will it take to get serious about our faith?
for some, you are already on that journey
for some, you think your done, but you are not
for others, you Think it’s not your calling, that’s for others, you feel too busy, to weary, to thin, to full, to committed
A: will it take loosing your limb to see that you need Jesus
B will it take your death or someone else to see your life needs Jesus at the core
C will you eternally seek what worms can eat and fire can burn to find what is actually spiritual and actually eternal?
Lets help each other, I forage one another rather an ignore or scare each other.
Cardiologist said eat little to no salt. Jesus said, be the salt.
be the flavor
be the preservative
be the difference in one persons life of faith… And you will not go wrong
But now, apart from law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. [NRSV]
Sin is a friend to us all.
- Even if we don’t invite sin to dinner, it shows up at the table.
- Even if we don’t plan for brokenness to break in, it will.
- Even if we begin to build up defense against the darkness of evil, it persists.
- Even if we had just said “no” a thousand times before, sin creeps into our hearts, minds and actions.
- It claims friendship that we might never want: So that even our inaction can give witness of sin’s power.
What are we to do?
Our holy meal, of bread and wine, instituted by Jesus for the disciples and for “all who have sinned and fallen short,” is our remedy.
Think back to the dinner that first communion night. Jesus had gathered with friends to celebrate the Passover remembrance. The would have followed generations of Hebrews ritual and instruction since Moses at the tenth plague against Pharaoh in Egypt.
The blood of a sacrificial lamb was placed on the on the lentil, brushing it with the top of the doorway as a sign that those within that house were safe, protected, to be passed over. Thus the name, “Passover” itself remains a promise that God 1) knows the power of sin and death and 2) God is ready to provide a way of salvation for those willing to claim it.
Today I invite you to think about the stickiness of sin. It might start small or we might jump in over our heads, either way, we continue to see it’s power and presence among us.
The starting place to deal with sin, is with ourselves.
Long before we talk about the evils in the world, we look at where we water down goodness/righteousness, God word and presence to make it easier or more convenient for us individually.
Sin creeps in more than diving in :Shade of Grey
Love your neighbor… as long as I’m around them I will act neighborly and polite.
Feed the poor, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner,….. as long as they deserve it, or not too much trouble.
Forgive your enemy… What good would that do?
Sell all of your possessions…. after I take care of everything else first.
Turn the other cheek….When the other guy goes first.
Don’t worry about the future…. Are we supposed to sell all and go sit on the street corner?
The Happy Meal: Why is Communion the powerful Remedy
The cup connects us to the sacrifice that Jesus made as an exchange on our behalf. Jesus paid our debt.
The Bread, is about dealing with the sticky, glutinous, power of leaven: Meet you in the broken crumbs of sin. Jesus is there for you. (Communion served in our brokenness)
Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So he told them this parable: “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
“Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.’ Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” [NRSV]
This value and power of the one to the whole.
On this anniversary of 9/11, we remember the violent and hateful actions of a few as well as heroic individual acts of rescue and sacrifice that make up the memories of this day I our national history.
Their is no ‘I’ in team
But there is in ‘win’. Every coach I have ever heard has relied on the “no I” speech to promote the team solidarity. While everyone has a roll to play in making a team succeed, there is one pesos who kicks the ball, one person carries the ball, one person unleaded the ball to the one receiver. A more true statement is that “the I’s have it”. God chooses to make is unique and yet interdependent.
The value is in both the parts AND the whole. Each sheep in the shepherd care is important. The one roughy and the one obedient.
Gods loving grace is poured out for the just and the unjust. All are in need for we cannot save ourselves.
Therefore: reach to help one person each day and the kingdom will be in your presence. Presently your one act of grace gives witness of Christ tot the world.
From there he set out and went away to the region of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know he was there. Yet he could not escape notice,but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet.Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.”But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go–the demon has left your daughter. So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.Then he returned from the region of Tyre, and went by way of Sidon towards the Sea of Galilee, in the region of the Decapolis. They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him.He took him aside in private, away from the crowd, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue.Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”And immediately his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. Then Jesus ordered them to tell no one; but the more he ordered them, the more zealously they proclaimed it.They were astounded beyond measure, saying, “He has done everything well; he even makes the deaf to hear and the mute to speak. [NRSV]
The Politics of Racism:
It is in influx of racially motivated incidents AND the fires fueled by political factions that our United Methodist Council of Bishops has asked us to address the topic of Racism this Sunday. They ask us to 1) acknowledge that racism is a sin and to 2) affirm the church’s roll in eradicating Racism is to be a priority. I find this passage that is typically remembered for its emphasis by Jesus on miraculous healing, is an interesting perspective on dealing with assumptions and prejudice, regarding racial divisions.
The passage is about seeing and hearing Racism.
First, the passage is about Jesus healing people from different political and geographical regions.
Gentiles of Syrophoenician heritage, Folks from Tyre, Sidon and the Decapolis regions.
We generally focus on the healing miracles and skip over the very thing we need to hear and see in the passage:
Might Jesus be a racist?