The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
John 6:35 & John 6:41-51
12 mins 31 secs
Views: 2
Crowds have followed Jesus for the signs that He may be the next Moses to lead them to victory. Crowds have pursued Him for the bread that has filled their stomachs and the potential prosperity He represents. But then Jesus begins to say that He is the bread of life, the bread sent by God, the bread of heaven, and that their future, their life, depends on believing that Jesus has seen the Father, is sent from the Father and that “Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.” Jesus is no longer looking like the leading man in a story they know, but is asking them to embrace an entirely new story. He is claiming to have seen God face to face, and asking them to have faith in Him. And it is too much for them: they grumble they complain and begin to fall away. We too are prone to the same tendency: to create a version of God that fits in our minds and in the constraints of our lives, rather than to listen and follow who He reveals himself to be. We can become so comfortable with our image of God, of what kind of God we are willing to follow, and how far we are willing to go, that we try to confine God to be a safe god, a small god, instead of the Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
John 6:24-35
18 mins 15 secs
Views: 2
This week’s gospel is the aftermath of the feeding of the 5000, a discussion between Jesus and the crowds about motivations, signs, manna, Moses and the Bread of Life. But it also contains this exchange: “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." John 6:28-29 The purpose of God’s work is that we believe in Jesus as sent by God. Our “work” is to believe the Truth of who Jesus is and then, in the words of our epistle this week, “to lead of life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace". Living and worshiping together as one body, using the gifts we are given to build up the body of Christ, is not an extra thing, an optional thing that we add to our already full life, it is the center of our response to God and his gift of eternal life.
In our gospel for Sunday, John 6:1-21, Jesus feeds the five thousand and walks on water. Two powerful miracles in a row. The 5000 saw a king who would give them food, with no effort on their part. Someone who would heal their sick and give them a better life here on earth, not bad things. They did not realize that Jesus would set them free not only from sin but also from death. Where do we stand on this? How do we see Jesus?
This week in our Gospel reading, the disciples return from their first foray into ministry without Jesus accompanying them, and He calls them to a deserted place to rest with Him. Our Old Testament and Psalm are about the Lord as our shepherd - caring, providing and protecting us. In Ephesians we are reminded: “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in His flesh He has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.” -Ephesians 2:13-14 “In Him the whole structure [the church] is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in Whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.” Ephesians 21-22
How do we react to the voice of truth? In our Old Testament reading, Amazia, the priest of Bethel, tries to discredit and send Amos away to go prophesy somewhere else. In or Gospel, Herod hears of Jesus and is afraid; convinced that this is John the Baptist returned from the dead... What do yo do when you've murdered a prophet? When you've silenced a message from God? How can you hear past your guilt and fear to hear the message of salvation and grace? The Word of God is not something we can hold indefinitely, passively. It is spoken for a reason, has its own agenda and purpose and as we are exposed to it, we are changed by it. Just as in New Testament times, God is in our midst, in spirit and in truth and we respond by receiving or rejecting the Word of God.
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Mark 1:6-13:0
12 mins 16 secs
Views: 1
Last week, we talked about hope that does not disappoint. This week, we will look at the climates of unbelief that Jesus encountered on his journey to his hometown. How do we create a climate around us that is filled with the glory of God and not unbelief or doubt? Stay tuned for the answer...
This week we are reminded that the Kingdom of God is like … something out of our control. God is the one who reigns in the kingdom of God. We act, but we don’t control outcomes; we may scatter or sow seed, but it is God who makes the plants grow, sometimes into things that are far beyond our expectation, or in places we don’t expect. As Christians, we surrender ourselves to God, and pursue God above all else, even above our own plans, dreams, reputation, and credibility. Come join us this Sunday to see what God is doing in our midst
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Mark 4:35-41
15 mins 25 secs
Views: 262
In our Gospel this Sunday, the disciples are in a boat, in the midst of a storm, and afraid they are about to die, they wake up Jesus and resentfully ask “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” It is interesting that they question not His power, but His character, not His ability, but His willingness to help. But when He stands up, speaks once, and the raging sea listens and obeys, Jesus then asks the disciples, “why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” They are overwhelmed by His power and the implications of that power, but it seems Jesus’ question is addressing theirs and could be paraphrased: “do you know me so little that you thought I would let you die?” How often do we fail to ask God for help because we doubt either His power or His character? How much of our life do we live as if we are out of the reach of God’s power and love?
This week we are reminded that the Kingdom of God is like … something out of our control. God is the one who reigns in the kingdom of God. We act, but we don’t control outcomes; we may scatter or sow seed, but it is God who makes the plants grow, sometimes into things that are far beyond our expectation, or in places we don’t expect. As Christians, we surrender ourselves to God, and pursue God above all else, even above our own plans, dreams, reputation, and credibility. Come join us this Sunday to see what God is doing in our midst
The Rev. Carole Anderson
Mark 3:20-35
13 mins 28 secs
Views: 287
Last week, we learned about the Sabbath and how we might obtain our sabbath rest. This week, we look into the consequences of our sin and how Jesus has saved us for eternal life with Him. As 1 Cor. 4 16-18 says: So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.