Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Be Still

Sermon for June 24, 2018 

Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-17 and Mark 4:35-41              

I feel for the disciples in this passage. I always tend to empathize with the disciples because they don’t always understand what is going on, and they keep on trying, but don’t always get it right. I feel for the disciples because I know I am supposed to envision myself in their place.

And here they are, after a long day of teaching and managing the logistics of all those crowds, sailing across Galilee because Jesus wanted to start teaching on the other side, and this massive storm rises up, a storm bigger than they had seen in years and they are in the middle of it in just a little boat.

Everything is chaos as they run around bailing water and trying to keep the boat upright, and there’s Jesus. Still sleeping where they left him. Sleeping through this storm. It’s not as though there was a cabin on this boat, oh no. Jesus is sound a sleep on deck in the middle of a storm bad enough that the experience fishermen think they will drown.

So they wake Jesus, crying out, "Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?" That wakes him and he turns immediately to the storm and tells it to stop. Which it does. Then Jesus turns back to his terrified disciples and asks "Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?"

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Children and God

Sermon for June 17, 2018

Read Psalm 127:3-5 and Ephesians 6:1-4

Children's Sunday 
Pastor Cara Milne

Wednesday, June 13, 2018


Sermon for June 10, 2018 

Read 2 Corinthians 4:13 - 5:1 and Mark 3:20-35...

This is one of those strange passages we find every so often that leave us with a vague sense of unease. There’s all that talk about demons for one. And it comes off sounding like Jesus is blowing off his family. But this actually is an important passage for the gospel of Mark, and for the church as a whole.

Mark is the shortest of the four gospels and only includes what he thought was absolutely essential for the story of Christ. You see, in Mark, the whole gospel leads up to holy week. So the first half of the book is Jesus' life and teachings and the second half is that one week. Just as the passage last week ended with the scribes beginning to plot against him, this passage so early in the gospel helps to show us how Jesus ended up there.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

What is Lawful?

Sermon for June 3, 2018 

Read Deuteronomy 5:6-21   and Mark 2:23 - 3:6   ....

To understand what the Pharisees are so upset about in our lesson today, we have to talk about the Sabbath. The Sabbath is a day when people are supposed to rest, but it was more than just a strong encouragement. The Jews were forbidden to do any work on the Sabbath. All of the food had to be prepared ahead of time. You could only pick up very light things. You had to count your steps and stay under a certain number in order to meet the requirements of the law.

So what concerns the Pharisees in the first part of this passage is the fact that Jesus and the disciples are traveling and gleaning on the sabbath. They should have stayed put and prepared their snacks on the previous day. To the Pharisees, this behavior appears to deliberately neglect the mandate to observe the sabbath and keep it holy.

Here Am I

Sermon for May 27, 2018 

Read Isaiah 6:1-8  and John 3:1-17   ....

I want to turn our attention this morning to the first reading from Isaiah - this strange vision of God and his calling to be a prophet.

Now, to fully understand what is going on here, we need some background of what is happening in this book. The first five chapters of Isaiah lay out the spiritual problem of the Judeans. They have forgotten and forsaken the Lord; their worship is futile; corruption marks their leadership. Greed has led to injustice. Isaiah 6:1 then describes the political crisis: the long-serving king who brought stability has died.

Basically, the country is a mess, when one day Isaiah goes to church. Because unlike any other prophet, Isaiah receives his prophetic call in a vision during Temple worship. That’s right, during one worship service Isaiah drifted off, and instead of listening to the rabbi, had a full blown vision of the divine.

Not something that happens on an average Sunday, huh?