Our sermon for the beginning of Passiontide was Mark 10:32-45, the passage about James and John asking Jesus if they could sit on His right hand and His left when He comes into His kingdom. I had studied this text extensively for what it teaches about authority and vocation (how authority is not to be used to “lord it over” others, but to serve those whom you have authority over). But somehow I never noticed that the passage is also about baptism and Holy Communion. Read the connection after the jump. And see whom God prepared to be on His right hand and on His left.
Last Sunday one of our Scripture readings was about the children of Israel complaining in the wilderness, whereupon they were attacked by fiery serpents until Moses healed them by lifting up a bronze serpent on a pole, which Jesus would later apply to Himself (Numbers 21:4-9; John 3:14-21).
I was struck by one of the Israelite’s whines: “We loathe this worthless food” (Numbers 21:5). They were talking about Manna! The miraculous food that God supplied them day by day without their effort! It was delicious! “It was like coriander seed, white, and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey” (Exodus 16: 31). And yet, even though this was an astounding miracle from a loving God, the people got tired of it. They thought it was boring. It became something to complain about. “We loathe this worthless food.”
How often we–or, I should say, I–take our blessings for granted, to the point of thinking them worthless. The only remedy, I suppose, is for fiery serpents to awake us to our need. And for the Bronze Serpent to show us how that very sinfulness has been crucified and for the one who bore that sin in His body to heal us. [Read more…]
Today is the March for Life, a day to protest the Roe v. Wade decision, which opened the door to the abortion of untold millions of children.
Last Sunday was designated as “Life Sunday.” One of the readings was about the calling of Nathanael (John 1:43-51), whose first words when Philip told him about Jesus was “can anything good come out of Nazareth” (1:46)? You have got to see how Pastor Douthwaite tied that to life issues. [Read more…]
The Wise Men gave Christ gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. What gift do you think Christ most wants from you? Pastor Douthwaite in his Epiphany sermon said that the offering Christ most wants from us is our sins. [Read more…]
More from Pastor Douthwaite’s Epiphany Sunday sermon, which pointed out that the Wise Men were not really seeking Christ. He was seeking them. And us. And that we too have a Bethlehem, and we too find Christ in a manger. [Read more…]
Like the Wise Men, Pastor Douthwaite last Sunday opened up treasures. Not gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but the treasures of God’s Word. His Epiphany sermon had some gems that I want to contemplate the rest of this week. He pointed out, for example, that the Wise Men saw merely a baby–not with the halos of the Christmas cards–but they saw Him with the eyes of faith, as we must, and thus knew Him as the Son of God. [Read more…]