Monday, August 25, 2014

August 24, 2014     Getting to the Core          

OT lesson: Psalm 150

Let Everything Praise the Lord

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds;
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound;
praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;
praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with sounding cymbals;
praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

NT lesson: Mark 2:1-12

Jesus Heals a Paralytic

2 And when he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. 3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd,they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,“Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”―he said to the paralytic― 11 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”12 And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

Psalm 150, deliberately chosen since we had a variety of music and musicians in worship this morning. Can you imagine a service with trumpets? Cymbals? Maybe worship wasn't always somber and serious! ;)

Sermon series based on various sports....

Weight training....great for muscles, calorie burn etc... muscles that are toned burn calories all the time even at rest!

Must use good form to avoid injury, as in all sports. there is a correct way to do each exercise...One of the biggest ways is to engage core. Core muscles are abs, side and back even hips and glutes. Keeping one's core strong helps posture, balance and stability, helps your back, and a strong core can help prevent injury even in daily activities. (Wish I had learned this 40 years ago...)

So in our faith life...things that are hard about being a Christian...working the CORE of our faith.....especially in an era that does not encourage people to express their faith, to attend church.

New testament reading from the Gospel of Mark...

as I read our Gospel lesson, imagine the scene, picture it...imagine you are there.


homes in this region and time had a flat thatched roof, which was accessible, as it was used as storage and as a place to sit in the cool of the evening :) One lived with a large extended family, who may have had a few homes together, around an open yard. So Jesus would be speaking in the front part of the house with people all around and probably filling the open yard too.

Jesus in this passage is shown to have 3 distinct divine qualities, forgiveness. He can discern the thoughts of his critics..(omniscience) and he performs a healing.

This is early in his ministry and the author Mark is giving us no room for doubt of who Jesus really is. Jesus' divinity is at the core of this story.

The people who brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus...we don't hear what they say....and we don't hear from that man either actually. Was he a passive part of the story? Or might he have been saying, I don't care what you have to do, get me to this Jesus! So the men not only carried him up onto the roof...they dug through the roof, which would have likely been a few layers of dried mud and straw over wooden crossbeams. Luke's version of this story says they removed roof tiles. Luke was writing for a different audience in a different area who would have had clay tile roofs.

Either way, this was not an easy task. And if they were indeed digging through thatch, it would have been messy. Once they made progress stuff would have been falling threw ..maybe even ON to Jesus! Can you imagine the other people around? Can you imagine the home owner? Or his wife...

but Jesus doesn't respond to the unusual aspects of this story, he just looks at the man and says affectionately Son your sins are forgiven.

Then Jesus shows his Omniscience...and finally his authority as Son of Man, a reference to the book of Daniel, one of the Hebrew prophets.
(Daniel 7:13) "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence.”

This is a prophecy of the Messiah! Jesus is saying I am the one you've been waiting for!

So when I asked you to imagine you were IN this did you picture yourself. Were you watching it all, taking it all in? Were you in front, near Jesus, watching hunks of dried mud and thatch falling? Were you the homeowner thinking what in the world are they doing to my house?! Were you thinking who is this Jesus person anyway? Were you one of the friends working SO hard to get this man to Jesus? Were you the one in need of healing?

We all need some healing sometimes...just as we sometimes are the ones saying who IS this Jesus anyway....and sometimes we get to help someone else get to Jesus.

SO how do we engage the core of our faith... we start by knowing God through Jesus.--for God so loved the world.....and what does the bible say?

Be still and know that I am God.

I came across something I have saved for a long's something called the Simple Path..

Mother Teresa's Simple Path
The fruit of silence is prayer.
The fruit of prayer is faith
The fruit of faith is love
The fruit of love is service
The fruit of service is peace.

“be still and know that I am God..” the fruit of silence is prayer... conversing with God, listening as well as talking, listening for that quiet voice..
the fruit of prayer is faith...we know God and our faith and trust deepen...
the fruit of faith is love. Faith helps us to recognize and take in that incomparable, immeasurable unconditional eternal LOVE. And when we realize that love for ourselves, we reach out to share it...that is service.
The fruit of service is peace.

Marva Dawn
God has called everyone to be part of God's mission in the world.

To accomplish this mission in the world we need to be engaged in the core of our faith and our community. This is how we are strengthened and equipped. We then can reach out in love, serving others, carrying them to Jesus! And then we find peace...that perfect Shalom of God, the peace that comes from within.

Last week,along with several other churches, we helped carry some folks to Jesus. They may not have recognized it 100%, but they knew something special was going they received free school supplies, a lunch, hair cuts for kids, and several hours of fun on a Saturday afternoon in the park―in a safe environment. It took several church groups and a lot of time and work and again I thank you all for your support and participation. It's a perfect example of what can happen when we are focused―not on ourselves, but on our Loving Lord.

we're going to continue to engage the core...Jesus--the core of our faith-- our core values of worship, mission and outreach, fellowship, discipleship, and stewardship. We need to gird those muscles and do some weight training....we may need to flex muscles that we haven't used for a long time!

We will add some bible study groups, we are going to work to get to know each other, …I don't think we need to break through a roof!! we may step out of our comfort zone a bit.

“It's good to do uncomfortable things. It's weight training for life.”
Anne LamottPlan B: Further Thoughts on Faith

Are you ready?  

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