Do you like to argue? Some of us love it. Many of us became experts at arguing when we were teenagers. Evidently Jesus’ disciples loved to argue with the Scribes and Pharisees because Jesus asks, “What are you arguing about with them?” This is a great question for the climate in which we live today. But in the same scripture there is a God given command that tells us how to deal with the arguing that surrounds us.
Three times the Disciples of Jesus argue about who is the greatest. Can you imagine that? These disciples watch Jesus minister to the least, the last and the lost but they still are concerned with their pecking order in the followers of Jesus. Jesus overhears their arguments and gives them some advice.
Jesus gives two word pictures to move his listeners to a response. In doing so He gives us concrete visual cues of how our lives should been seen by others. In this message Pastor Fred will share how salt and light empower us to a vision of Christian life.
We left the church building over four months ago. That action can help our faith and Christian witness. We are reminded that the Church never was the building. The Church is the people who used to worship in the building. If we are still the Church then how do we stay close to God and close to each other? It is a plant that will give us some direction.
Can you imagine Danny Devito playing Zacchaeus in a movie? Then you might understand how vertically challenged Zacchaeus was. Yet Zacchaeus throws respect out the window as he shimmies up a tree for just a look at Jesus. What emotion made the rich wealthy chief tax-collector yearn to see Jesus. What was missing from his life? Might it be missing from our lives?
Why did a woman with a bad reputation bring expensive perfume and anoint Jesus’ feet with it? There is a back story that Luke is not telling us. What happened earlier in the day? What encounter did Jesus have with this woman? As Pastor Fred explores this story we may find it has transformative effects in our life.
When Jesus was healing people he made a lengthy journey to help a man who people felt was possessed by demons. The man’s story is still common today. Many among us hide struggles with brain issues because they are worried about being stigmatized. In this Gospel story Jesus’ reaction to the man gives us guidance on how we can help.
Jesus often went to great lengths to meet outcasts. He broke social, racial, religious and cultural taboos to offer them a relationship with him through living water. Jesus’ grace surprised an outcast woman of Samaria so much that she went and told everybody about the Messiah. How might that living water speak to us?
As we celebrate Father’s Day, we remember our dads. We give thanks for those dads who were supportive. Yet on this day we recognize that some of us were hurt by our dads who never fulfilled the role of father in our life. Some dads were awesome and some dads weren’t so awesome. Fortunately Jesus shares about a father who gives us a dad worthy to emulate.
Sometimes we do what we do not want to do. We make a commitment to change our ways and yet we find ourselves in the same old rut. If this happens enough we might even give up changing at all. But the Apostle Paul has a solution that Pastor Fred will explore on Pentecost Sunday. A way to get out of that rut.