The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
John 6:24-35
18 mins 15 secs
Views: 4
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
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Mark 6:14-29
14 mins 28 secs
Views: 1
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: 263
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.
The Rev. Cindy Stansbury
Mark 2:23-3:6
16 mins 5 secs
Views: 293
Sometimes, Sabbath as an ongoing spiritual discipline feels like one more obligation, one more constraint to add to overburdened, over-pressured lives. Especially in Silicon Valley where the concept of Sabbath is completely alien. In our Gospel this week, the disciples gather grains of wheat as they walk through a field, and the Pharisees object. Jesus holds out their misplaced priorities to them by making them choose whether it is right to heal on the Sabbath, and they are even more outraged. The rest of our readings gather around this notion of Sabbath, its history and purpose and its limitations. It is clear that God’s purpose in establishing Sabbath was to lift burdens, and free us from slavery, not impose more bondage. However, are we then free as Christians, to spend our time without constraint and without obligation? Come join us this Sunday as we look at how we are called to live eternal lives, neither slaves to time, nor unaccountable free agents.