Sermon thoughts for Sunday 062809 ~ Mark 5:21-43

In the strength of the Lord, bring hope and healing to others.
This Sunday concludes the series “On the Way”. In Matthew 28:16-20 we have a famous directive from Jesus know popularly as “the great commission.” Verse 19 is usually translated “GO therefore….” but the gramar really should read more like, “Therefore, as you go…” In otherwords, “In your going, wherever you go, throughout your life, whatever else you may be upto….” It is under this broadest of conditions then that the commission from Jesus comes, the commission to be His disciples by continuing his ministry. As such, we are to say and do the things he said and did. Our task is to continue his work, ‘doing even greater works’ according to John 14:12, not simply telling stories about the works that Jesus did 2000 years ago. So, “in the strength of the Lord, you are commissioned to bring hope and healing to others.”

Notes for reflection:

  • As you read the text, notice that there are two stories of illness and healing. Consider how they are similar and how they are different.
  • Jairus is noted as a leader of the synagogue – what do we know from the gospels about how such people tended to feel about Jesus?
  • The woman, unnamed, is sick, tired, broke, and exiled from the worshipping community because of her condition – she is completely alone.
  • What does it mean that they happen together? How does one elaborate on or comment on the other?
  • What might it mean to have Jairus’ story interrupted by the story of an anonymous woman?
  • With whom in the passage do you most relate? Who is most distant or confusing or ‘other’ to you? Why?

Mark 5:
21 When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22 Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23 and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.” 24 So he went with him.
And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25 Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26 She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29 Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30 Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, “Who touched me?’ ” 32 He looked all around to see who had done it. 33 But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
35 While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36 But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37 He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38 When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40 And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42 And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43 He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

Sermons for July & August 2009 – Lessons from the Valley – Psalm 23

Lessons from the Valley

Psalm 23
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside still waters
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…
I will fear no evil.
Your rod and your staff they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil – My cup overflows.
Surely Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.



Big challenge is choosing the scripture texts around the theme. A partial list of possible topics follows.

Lessons:

  • The First Lesson – Learning to trust
  • “If you don’t have your health…”
  • Big failures – my inability to walk through the valley
  • Base Jumping – when we seek to come face to face with death
  • Facing death with the mind – thinking our way through
  • Facing death with the heart – feeling our way through
  • Facing death with the soul – faithing our way through
  • From the mountain to the valley
  • Loosing life – finding life
  • Selling today for tomorrow
  • Miracles of Generosity
  • Job loss – salvation through failure
  • Lost & Found – are you making a good trade?
  • The Valley of Discipleship Suffering
    • Matthew 16:24-28; Matthew 10:16-42

If you have suggestions for scriptures to go with these topics, or other scriptures/topics that fit the overall theme, please let me know. This will very much need to be a community conversation, just as it was when Scott and I began the discussion.

Thanks


Ken

Scriptures for Sunday 062109 ~ 1 Samuel 17

Questions for Reflection

What gave David courage to face the Giant?

 

Who around David was giving him their advice and opinions? What were these people saying?

 

What tools and skills did David use? Where did he get them?

 

When in your life have you face a giant like David did? What was your source of strength and courage? What were your ‘weapons’? Were you successful? What ‘traps’ of discouragement did you have to overcome?

 

How does God journey with us through such times?  How do we know as followers of Jesus that we have reason to hope?

 

1 samuel 17  

1 The Philistines now mustered their army for battle and camped between Socoh in Judah and Azekah at Ephes-dammim. 2 Saul countered by gathering his troops near the valley of Elah. 3 So the Philistines and Israelites faced each other on opposite hills, with the valley between them. 4 Then Goliath, a Philistine champion from Gath, came out of the Philistine ranks to face the forces of Israel. He was a giant of a man, measuring over nine feet tall! 5 He wore a bronze helmet and a coat of mail that weighed 125 pounds. 6 He also wore bronze leggings, and he slung a bronze javelin over his back. 7 The shaft of his spear was as heavy and thick as a weaver’s beam, tipped with an iron spearhead that weighed fifteen pounds. An armor bearer walked ahead of him carrying a huge shield. 8 Goliath stood and shouted across to the Israelites, “Do you need a whole army to settle this? Choose someone to fight for you, and I will represent the Philistines. We will settle this dispute in single combat! 9 If your man is able to kill me, then we will be your slaves. But if I kill him, you will be our slaves! 10 I defy the armies of Israel! Send me a man who will fight with me!” 11 When Saul and the Israelites heard this, they were terrified and deeply shaken.

12 Now David was the son of a man named Jesse, an Ephrathite from Bethlehem in the land of Judah. Jesse was an old man at that time, and he had eight sons in all. 13 Jesse’s three oldest sons – Eliab, Abinadab, and Shammah – had already joined Saul’s army to fight the Philistines. 14 David was the youngest of Jesse’s sons. Since David’s three oldest brothers were in the army, they stayed with Saul’s forces all the time. 15 But David went back and forth between working for Saul and helping his father with the sheep in Bethlehem. 16 For forty days, twice a day, morning and evening, the Philistine giant strutted in front of the Israelite army. 17 One day Jesse said to David, “Take this half-bushel of roasted grain and these ten loaves of bread to your brothers. 18 And give these ten cuts of cheese to their captain. See how your brothers are getting along, and bring me back a letter from them. ” 19 David’s brothers were with Saul and the Israelite army at the valley of Elah, fighting against the Philistines. 20 So David left the sheep with another shepherd and set out early the next morning with the gifts. He arrived at the outskirts of the camp just as the Israelite army was leaving for the battlefield with shouts and battle cries. 21 Soon the Israelite and Philistine forces stood facing each other, army against army. 22 David left his things with the keeper of supplies and hurried out to the ranks to greet his brothers. 23 As he was talking with them, he saw Goliath, the champion from Gath, come out from the Philistine ranks, shouting his challenge to the army of Israel. 24 As soon as the Israelite army saw him, they began to run away in fright. 25 “Have you seen the giant?” the men were asking. “He comes out each day to challenge Israel. And have you heard about the huge reward the king has offered to anyone who kills him? The king will give him one of his daughters for a wife, and his whole family will be exempted from paying taxes!” 26 David talked to some others standing there to verify the report. “What will a man get for killing this Philistine and putting an end to his abuse of Israel?” he asked them. “Who is this pagan Philistine anyway, that he is allowed to defy the armies of the living God?” 27 And David received the same reply as before: “What you have been hearing is true. That is the reward for killing the giant.” 28 But when David’s oldest brother, Eliab, heard David talking to the men, he was angry. “What are you doing around here anyway?” he demanded. “What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and dishonesty. You just want to see the battle!” 29 “What have I done now?” David replied. “I was only asking a question!” 30 He walked over to some others and asked them the same thing and received the same answer.

31 Then David’s question was reported to King Saul, and the king sent for him. 32 “Don’t worry about a thing,” David told Saul. “I’ll go fight this Philistine!” 33 “Don’t be ridiculous!” Saul replied. “There is no way you can go against this Philistine. You are only a boy, and he has been in the army since he was a boy!” 34 But David persisted. “I have been taking care of my father’s sheep,” he said. “When a lion or a bear comes to steal a lamb from the flock, 35 I go after it with a club and take the lamb from its mouth. If the animal turns on me, I catch it by the jaw and club it to death. 36 I have done this to both lions and bears, and I’ll do it to this pagan Philistine, too, for he has defied the armies of the living God! 37 The LORD who saved me from the claws of the lion and the bear will save me from this Philistine!”Saul finally consented. “All right, go ahead,” he said. “And may the LORD be with you!” 38 Then Saul gave David his own armor – a bronze helmet and a coat of mail. 39 David put it on, strapped the sword over it, and took a step or two to see what it was like, for he had never worn such things before. “I can’t go in these,” he protested. “I’m not used to them.” So he took them off again.

40 He picked up five smooth stones from a stream and put them in his shepherd’s bag. Then, armed only with his shepherd’s staff and sling, he started across to fight Goliath. 41 Goliath walked out toward David with his shield bearer ahead of him, 42 sneering in contempt at this ruddy-faced boy. 43 “Am I a dog,” he roared at David, “that you come at me with a stick?” And he cursed David by the names of his gods. 44 “Come over here, and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and wild animals!” Goliath yelled. 45 David shouted in reply, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD Almighty – the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 Today the LORD will conquer you, and I will kill you and cut off your head. And then I will give the dead bodies of your men to the birds and wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel! 47 And everyone will know that the LORD does not need weapons to rescue his people. It is his battle, not ours. The LORD will give you to us!”

48 As Goliath moved closer to attack, David quickly ran out to meet him. 49 Reaching into his shepherd’s bag and taking out a stone, he hurled it from his sling and hit the Philistine in the forehead. The stone sank in, and Goliath stumbled and fell face downward to the ground. 50 So David triumphed over the Philistine giant with only a stone and sling. And since he had no sword, 51 he ran over and pulled Goliath’s sword from its sheath. David used it to kill the giant and cut off his head. When the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they turned and ran. 52 Then the Israelites gave a great shout of triumph and rushed after the Philistines, chasing them as far as Gath and the gates of Ekron. The bodies of the dead and wounded Philistines were strewn all along the road from Shaaraim, as far as Gath and Ekron. 53 Then the Israelite army returned and plundered the deserted Philistine camp. 54 (David took Goliath’s head to Jerusalem, but he stored the Philistine’s armor in his own tent.) 55 As Saul watched David go out to fight Goliath, he asked Abner, the general of his army, “Abner, whose son is he?””I really don’t know,” Abner said. 56 “Well, find out!” the king told him. 57 After David had killed Goliath, Abner brought him to Saul with the Philistine’s head still in his hand. 58 “Tell me about your father, my boy,” Saul said. And David replied, “His name is Jesse, and we live in Bethlehem.”  (NLT)

Scriptures and reflection for Sunday 061409

Questions for Reflection:
 
What does the world see in your outward appearance?
What do you see in your outward appearance?
 
What does God see when looking upon your heart?
What do you see when looking upon your heart?
 
What was it like for the brothers to be passed over? Has that ever happened to you? How did you feel? How did you respond?
 
What was it like for David the unlikely one to be chosen? Has that ever happened to you, that you were the surprise pick? What was that like for you?
 

Scriptures for Sunday 061409

1 Samuel

15: 34 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35 Samuel did not see Saul again until the day of his death, but Samuel grieved over Saul. And the Lord was sorry that he had made Saul king over Israel.

16: 1 The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” 2 Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, “I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ 3 Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” 4 Samuel did what the Lord commanded, and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?”

5 He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

6 When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 8 Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” 10 Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” 11 Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12 He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

 

Luke 5

27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And he got up, left everything, and followed him. 29 Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house; and there was a large crowd of tax collectors and others sitting at the table with them. 30 The Pharisees and their scribes were complaining to his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 Jesus answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; 32 I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
 
 

Sermon thoughts for Sunday 060709

The Structure of a Call

We experience God in a meaningful way

We respond in some significant and transforming way to that experience

God acts in and upon us with blessing

God calls/comissions for ministry

We choose to respond to the call

NOTICE: what’s missing? The details! God does not flesh out the details of the mission or ministry, either in Isaiah 6 or Matthew 28, before asking for / inviting a committed response. The details come as we live out the calling, after we say, “YES!”

Along the way, we may be aware of our own inadequacy, our brokenness, our sinfulness and that of our community – we may even waver with some uncertainty and doubt. None of this need supercede our response to God’s call. After all, as Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. I can say to you therefore….”

Another note: This Sunday is Trinity Sunday, when the church celebrates the mystery and majesty of the Triune God. We seek not to understand or explain God, but to experience and be in awe! Just as Isaiah was, and as the disciples were at the Ascension – We seek to worship in Spirit and in Truth.

See you Sunday

Ken

knowing and seeing

#1
Tell me what you think you know
and you tell me that you’re blind.
Say all you know is that you don’t
I’ll say I think you’re doing fine.

#2
In the event that you learn something new.
Write it down and then forget it
Otherwise that knowledge will go to your head
and explode your ego, if you let it.

#3
I love to think, but not to learn
the end, the conquest holds no lustre
The journey is the think for me
The second thought on the summit
where to next?

to learn
To learn is to acquire
To acquire is to posess
To posess is to own
As you learn about me
What do you own
As I learn about you
Does your freedom wain

If you and I
can learn everything there is
to know about
one another
will we then cease to be free
And when my freedom evaporates
do I cease to be?