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I wonder what it was like for Jesus to realize that his death was imminent. Not many of us know the exact date and time that we will die. Had Jesus assumed like we do that he would live until old age? When did Jesus realize he wouldn’t? Yet now, here he is in this passage, acknowledging that the writing is on the wall – that ‘the hour has come’ for him to face his death. His friends, his disciples, have not yet come to that conclusion. They do not understand that he is going to die soon. Their vision for the future was about to be in disarray. (John 12:20-33)
Looking at the cross forces us to face our desire to dwell in the dark places and invites us to step into the light. But, all this talk of light and dark reminds me of a visit I made a couple of years ago to Australia. I was in Queensland but we traveled down to…
Imagine the scene: You are in the outer court of the temple. It is Passover, and you have come from Galilee, nearly 100 miles away and you’ve been walking for 5 days. Are you tired? Excited? Are you alone or with friends and family? The temple court is packed with people jostling each other. There’s a lot of trading going on. How noisy is it with all the people and lots of chattering, and bartering? What’s it smell like? But now you need to purchase an appropriate sacrifice to atone for your sins, and you have to exchange some money so you can pay your temple tax. (John 2:13-22)
In today’s scripture, the wisdom that Jesus spoke about a suffering, rejected, dying Messiah was totally nonsensical wisdom. So much so that Peter couldn’t keep quiet and he took Jesus on and scolded Jesus. As well as telling them that he was going to suffer and die, Jesus told them that he would rise again after three days. It is the final foolishness to the scenario Jesus paints. (Mark 8:31-38)
A wilderness is a hostile place, where you will experience trials and challenges. It is a place where you will be tempted whether to do something or to deny something. Perhaps your wilderness looks like a solo camping trip in the desert. Or it might be another physical place altogether, or perhaps it is a spiritual place. It could be a place that you choose to go, or one where you currently find yourself. It might be a place you can choose to leave or maybe you have no choice but to stay. (Mark 1:9-15)
The forty days of Lent are a time for us to take stock of our lives and how we are loving God with all our heart, mind, soul and strength and where we fall short. Those scriptures we read make several mentions of our hearts and remind us of the work we are called to do during Lent. (Psalm 51:1-17, Joel 2:1-2, 12-17)
We talk often about Jesus coming into our world as the Savior of the world, to save or redeem the world. Jesus seemed to understand that his death would bring about our salvation or wholeness. Theologians have long wrestled with how we are to understand Jesus’ death. Today’s question can be rephrased as “How do we make sense of the cross?” (Mark 9:2-10, 10:32-34, 10:45)
Jesus was teaching in the Temple, bringing the Word of God to the people, when suddenly a man comes running down the aisle and disrupted the whole service. This man was out of his mind. He was crazy. What would you do if it happened here? I think one of us would probably dial 911! (Mark 1:21-28)
In our scripture, when Simon meets Jesus, Jesus says to him, “I’m going to call you Peter, which means rock.” Jesus saw Simon, not just for who he was, but for who he might become. Jesus saw beyond the face of a fisherman deep into Simon’s soul, and helped him see for himself who he was meant to be. (John 1:29-42)
A sermon given by guest speaker Lynda Jamieson. Sorry, we do not have a transcript or recording for this sermon. (Mark 1:14-20)