Sunday, October 15, 2017
TEXT: Mark 5:21-43
TITLE: “From Set-Ups to Silver”
Jesus met need everywhere, and he didn’t just run into it, he sought it. After healing a crazed man he met a man crazy with worry. Jairus, a man of dignity and position fell at the feet of Jesus and pleaded with him to come with him to heal his daughter. He could have been redirected by the pressing crowd. He might have been distracted by other needs.(woman with the issue of blood? He might have been discouraged by the bad news.(Your daughter is dead) He might have been turned away by the mocking neighbors and relatives.(the mourners laughed at Jesus for his intention to overturn death) Jesus turned a funeral meal into a celebration of life.
Sunday, October 22, 2017
TEXT: Luke 15:11-31
TITLE: “Even Though I Made My Own Dust”
The return of the prodigal is the narrative of an unlikely reception. This younger son has done nothing to earn his father’s love. In fact, he has done everything to disappoint. He devalued tradition, custom, heritage, his family name, his sibling and the hard work of his parents. He left home in a cloud of dust. He stirred up dust with his riotous living and he ended up with nothing but dust. He found himself in the worst condition imaginable and finally came to his senses. By his own admission he has no right to ask for anything, no claim to any kind of right or privilege. He is completely dependent on mercy. He is hoping his father will treat him as a hired servant.
But his father runs to him, envelopes him, kisses him and claims him. Sandals, a ring, and a robe all provided signs of his identity. He was not a hired servant. He is a a beloved son. The reception is almost unbelievable. Imagine those receiving the invitation and the conversation that went on in the neighbors houses. “A reception?” “Won’t this be interesting. I’m going just to watch the fireworks!” “His brother will blow a gasket!”
And his brother does blow a gasket. Because he has a misconception about the father’s love and the father’s resources. He wrongly believes that his father’s love is merited and that it is limited.
Can God, Will God really turn barren places to abundance when the barren place is of my own making? The narrative of the Prodigal shouts yes.