Why are you here? Because you are fed? Because you chose to be here? Or maybe it was because you were drawn to worship by God? We would like to think it is our idea, but maybe more significantly we are all brought to faith and brought to worship by God. This is a holy gift.
You are what you eat. Sermon for Sunday August 19, 2018
God gives us what we need, but that is not always what we want. Still, it is always enough. Even when it comes to us as manna, and we do not even really know what it is.
People like the idea of self-made fortunes, but that is not really based in reality. In the end everyone needs support, encouragement and help from someone. This is also true for our lives of faith. There are no self-made Christians. All the followers of Jesus have been given the gift of faith as it comes to them passed from one generation to the next.
This is actually a great strength of the faith because it grounds us in relationships; with one another and with God.
Herod is fearful of losing face. Everyone is fearful of Herod. With so much fear in the gospel and so much fear in our world, how do Christians, followers of Jesus respond?
When you are on the boat with Jesus you can be sure he will send you across to the other side. There you will encounter strangers. As followers of Jesus we know we are called to care for widows, orphans, refugees and the vulnerable. We are people of Faith, not fear.
We can learn from the faithfulness of people around us. I am consistently humbled by the faithfulness of our Muslim sisters and brothers as they fast from Sunrise to sunset throughout the month of Ramadan. I am glad my children can learn from their witness.
We are also blessed with the extended family of God’s people. We are connected not just by blood, but by water, the water of Baptism. This is a holy gift.
Right from the start of Mark’s gospel Jesus chooses to provoke the Pharisees by violating rules against working on the sabbath. This is no accident. Jesus wants to make it clear the God’s kingdom is breaking into this world and there will be no waiting for the hungry to be fed or the broken to be restored to community.
And Jesus won’t let us wait either.
Jesus tells Nicodemus he must be born from above. If there is one thing we know for certain about birth it is this: Being born happens to you. Like it or not you cannot choose to be born and you cannot choose your parents.
God chooses us and chooses to bring us to new birth through the gift of baptism.
At first bring the people Jesus prays for sounds like a wonderful thing. But not so fast. When you step back and consider the implications it really does complicate life.
Thanks be to God that Jesus never abandons us, even as we like Peter deny him.
Pentecost is not just something that happened in the past. The story of Pentecost continues every day as God’s Spirit speaks to us in the language we can understand and leads us towards the work of justice and peace.
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