A meditation on Mark 14:27-31; 37-38, 66-72, for Palm Sunday/The Sunday of the Passion. We did a narrative reading of Mark chapters 14-15 in worship, and the meditation focuses on the theme of Peter's promised loyalty and subsequent denial, and how Jesus pegs our human nature with the statement: "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak." How does all this tie into repentance and salvation?
Sermon on Luke 23, for Palm Sunday or Sunday of the Passion, about how Jesus treated those who mistreated Him, with references to Psalm 103:8-12. How did Jesus' conduct affect the onlookers of His crucifixion? What response should it create in us?
Sermon on Mark 12:38-44, for the 24th Sunday after Pentecost, about Jesus' teaching about the scribes and the widow's mites. How does being a religious or spiritual leader, pose particular temptations? Which of those temptations do we all share? How is the widow who brought her small offering to the Temple, a contrast to the pretense and show of others? How do we escape our temptations to self-flattery and ego, and find a humble and sincere trust in God?
Sermon on Mark 9:38-50, for the 18th Sunday after Pentecost. Jesus teaches about the deadliness of sin, and the warnings against hell. What does it mean that everyone will be "salted with fire"? How does a Christian "have salt" in themselves?
Sermon on Mark 9:30-37, for the 17th Sunday after Pentecost, about Jesus' prediction of His death and resurrection, and the disciple's argument about greatness. Jesus teaches His servant way of humility, and the reception of children. What does this teach us about the value of children, of parenting, and how we are children in God's family?
Sermon on Mark 9:14-29, 16th Sunday after Pentecost, about Jesus' healing of a boy who was demon possessed, and what that says to us about the spiritual world, and the devil's efforts to hurt and harm humanity, and create doubt. What was significant about the plea of the father to Jesus, how Jesus answered, and what it teaches us about prayer and faith? What is the source and power of faith and prayer?
Sermon on Mark 7:31-37, for the 15th Sunday after Pentecost, about Jesus' healing of the deaf and mute man, and what it signifies that Jesus sighs or groans for us. How did He bring healing? What was the message about who He was, that couldn't be kept secret for long?
Sermon on Mark 7:14-23, for the 14th Sunday after Pentecost, about how Jesus sees transparently what's in our heart, and how the heart is the source from within of all the sins and unclean things that defile a person. How does Jesus respond when He sees what's in our heart?
Sermon on Mark 7:1-13, for the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, about the Pharisees' question to Jesus about handwashing, and the bigger implications of the discussion about traditions of men vs. the commandments of God. What was the core problem of their worship? How is the sinful flesh stopped? What makes for true worship from the heart, that is not empty lip service?
Sermon on Mark 6:45-56, for the 9th Sunday after Pentecost, about Jesus' walking across the water to the disciples in the boat, and the challenge of their hardened and unbelieving hearts. How does God address our unbelief? What is the meaning of the courage and new heart that Jesus gives us?
Sermon on Mark 6:30-44, for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost, about the feeding of the 5,000, and the lessons it teaches about rest, God's provision, our resources, trusting in Christ, and His power to use what He has given us to serve the needy.
Sermon on Mark 6:14-29, for the 7th Sunday after Pentecost, about the execution of John the Baptist, and Jesus' being misidentified by Herod and others as being John, risen from the dead. What is the contrast between kingdoms of men, and the kingdom of God, as represented by Jesus and John? What are the consequences of continued, unrepentant sin, and ignoring conscience? Where does the courage come from to stand and speak the truth when it is unpopular? How are we saved from our sin?
Sermon about the legalization of same-sex marriage in the U.S., and about how Christian's respond to a society that is unwelcoming to the Gospel. What is the authority by which the church speaks? What is the identity of a Christian disciple, and what calling does that place on their life? How does the church speak or respond to those outside the church, or who do not receive the teachings of Jesus? Texts from Mark 6:7-13, Psalm 146:3-4, and 1 Corinthians 5 & 6.
Sermon on Mark 5:21-43, for the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, about the healing of the woman with a chronic bleeding problem, and the raising of Jairus' daughter. How do we deal with chronic illness and death? How do we wrestle with God's answers and timing to our prayers? What is Jesus' perspective as He enters the situation?