Hebrews 12: 1 – 4
Psalm 22: 22 – 30
Mark 5: 21 – 43
It’s been quite a week. It’s been quite a week and, no doubt there is more to come. We have seen protests, demonstrations, and acts of witness, support and solidarity. We have seen millions in this country and around the world on the streets, in airports, in front of hotels all voicing their concern, their objections, and their resistance. It’s been quite a week, and there promises to be more to come. It seems that there is a new normal taking root, not just in this country, but around the world. My hunch, and it’s only a hunch, is that what we have seen in the past week, is what the next four years will be like, so we had all better get used to it.
For us a Christians as we watch the news, read the newspapers, talk with our friends and neighbours the questions at times like these is always: “should the Church be involved? Should the Church ever be involved?” There are those among us who would argue that the Church should stay out of politics; that the Church should never take a stand on this issue or that; that the Church must limit itself to the spiritual realm and leave the temporal realm alone. There are those who would argue that Jesus was not political; that he came to establish a heavenly kingdom and not an earthly one; that he opposed the mixing of the things of God with the things of Caesar, and so should we.
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:22-30; Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38
“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” With those words we begin the season of Lent; a season that the prayer book describes as one of ‘penitence and fasting.’ It is traditional for people to give up something during Lent; something that is a part of the daily fabric of their lives, perhaps something that is a treat or is looked forward to regularly for comfort. For instance, many people give up drinking their favorite soda, or eating chocolate. Others may give up watching a favorite TV show or spending time on social media. Whatever it is, when we are triggered by habit or desire for this creature comfort, its absence ultimately serves to remind us of our ‘poverty.’
Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22: 22-30; Romans 4: 13-25; Mark 8: 31-38
Those of you who were here when I last preached will remember that I began by telling you how much fun I was having listening to, and preaching from the Gospel of Mark. Mark is fun because he is so breathless. He races us through one scene and then plunges us headlong into the next before we have time to catch our breath or ponder the significance of what has just happened. It’s like being doused with a pail of cod water, and before we have time to cry out in outrage we are doused with a second pail of even colder water. Today is no different. We have just been doused with cold water and almost before we have had time to register our shock, a second and third pail of equally cold and equally icy water hits us.