Tag Archives: Gospel lesson

Show me a sign, dude….

{Mark 8-11-26}

Today’s Gospel lesson has Jesus frustrated. Apparently the Pharisees are doing what Pharisees do best, which is challenge Our Lord. Today we find them demanding that Jesus show them a ” sign” that He is Who He says He is{ and is the Savior that we modern Christians know Him to be}

They are coming from a huge party where this very man had turned mere water into wine AND provided enough food t feed more tan 5000 people. Most would consider feeding the multitudes a ” sign” that Jesus, son of Mary is no ordinary man But is not enough for these guys–they demand more ” proof” that this is The Christ.

Perhaps these guys felt threatened by Him & their insecurity caused them to demand that He prove himself to them. It has been my experience that people such as the Pharisees act bossy & make unreasonable demands out of feelings of their own unworthiness. These sorts of people ” pick on” others & blame others {especially those who occupy a position of trust or leadership in a community} for their problems in life.

I pray every day fo God to show me ways to be more like Jesus & less lke a Pharisee.

Amen.

Gentiles are Welcome here….

{ Mark 24-37}

We read a lot in the Gospels about the relationship between Jews & Gentiles. Apparently the two groups did not like each other much.

Today’s Gospel, once again, has Jesus working against the ” norm” . He is Jewish, yet when the Gentile woman came to Him for healing of her daughter, he looked beyond the cultural difference between ” His” people ” those” Gentiles.

American politics is messed up, in my opinion, because too many people only want to advance the agenda of “their” people Rather than work together to try to accomplish what is best for our great nation as a whole, politics as it is now focuses of divisions & not what unites.

This is an election year, so the media are throwing politics into my face. I am sick of it. Inasmuch as I am a CNN junkie, dring election years I keep the TV news off as much as possible. I. Hate. Politics!

Each election cycle wearies me of bickering between Republicans & Democrats. Even if I did claim an affinity with one of the two major political parties{thanks be to God, I do not!} all the ” us versus them” mentality of American politics is tiresome.

In the time in which Jesus lived, Gentiles & Jews shared nothing in common but the land where they lived. But He taught unity in a diided cultre &we can gleam much from that lesson now.

Amen.

Going home….

Today’s Gospel has Jesus returning to His hometown. Rather than lauds, he faces harsh judgement & criticism by the people who knew Him when he was young.

Every year, I spend approximately one week up North. While I do anticipate this trip with joy, there is a bit of apprehension that follows me on the plane rides to the Pittsburgh International Airport. I’ve not live in the Greater Pittsburgh area for 13 years & during these past 15 months, Florida has truly become my home.

Here is an example:

While I still passionately follow the Pittsburgh Steelers, Best Dude & I faithfully watch the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team. When the Bolts play against Pittsburgh’s hockey team, its sort of odd to cheer AGAINST a Pittsburgh sports team but I do. Florida is home & besides, I never followed hockey much before Best Dude & I got together.

Am I a Greater Pittsburgher or a Northwest Floridian?

But, I know I AM a member of God’s household.

Amen.

What has Christ done for YOU lately? Tell Others.

Today’s Gospel is the story of Jesus casting out the demons from a man , transferring said demons into a herd of swine , and then running the herd over a cliff.

As usual, I am transfixed by the words of Our Lord at the end of Mark’s account of this miracle.

Jesus says to the man from whom he had cleansed the demons:
” Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the LORD has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.”

So , this begs the question of today: How do we tell others of what the Lord has done for us? Traditionally, Episcopalians are not good at evangelizing, and I am no exception. Inasmuch as my faith is important to me, I neglect to take opportunities to tell others of how Christ works in MY life. I shy away from telling others what Christ has done for me for fear of being labeled as a ” Jesus-freak”. But are not we Christians ” supposed ” to be passionate about Our Lord?

Yep.

But what is the most effective way to tell others what Christ has done in our lives? how can we bring others to want to know of Christ? How can we show them{ unbelievers, especially} that Jesus of Nazareth is so much more than The History Channel insists He is?

The solution is simple. Spread Christ’s Love by loving others as He loves us. Try not to be deceitful, or to hold grudges against others. Withhold judgement of others who are ” not like us”. Smile at a stranger.

But talk is easy. Maybe the best way to ” tell” others about Christ has done & continues to do for we believers is to DO MORE. The old saying is that”… Talk is cheap. Actions speak louder than words.”

Amen.

Who will stop the rain?

“And I wonder/still I wonder/ Who will stop the rain?” ~ CCR

Seriously though, today’s Gospel lesson has Jesus & His disciples in the middle of a storm at sea.

Ever since I’ve lived in Northwest Florida, I’ve been acutely aware of the power of moving water. Unless one has been through at least one hurricane, one really has no clue how destructive this otherwise life-giving chemical compound that we know as * water* can become.

I bet those disciples were scared during that storm. They were in an open sailing vessel in the middle of the sea. Wind & rain were everywhere & those waves were huge! And to make matters worse,their rabbi is SLEEPING through this storm.

Pay careful attention to what Jesus says to His disciples after he calms the stormy sea.

He says: “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?”

All of us face occasional ” storms” of some sort in life. It is never always”smooth-sailing ” . But we, like the first followers of Our Lord Jesus Christ, ned to remind ourselves that JESUS is the One on Whom we can count on to steer or lives safely through metaphorical and literal stormy weather.

Thanks be to God.