Offertory Prayer

Invitation to the Offering
The offering you made last week empowered ministry within our congregation and in response to the needs of our community. It also helped support the work of ministries beyond the local church that reach people who are in desperate need to feel the touch of love and reconciliation. Through the World Service Fund, your church supports a great tradition of United Methodist support for Higher Education. Providing scholarships and loans, a network of college chaplains, and an ongoing relationship with 113 colleges, universities and seminaries that are part of our connection – together we open doors to education for many deserving students. This ministry happens thanks to the generous support of United Methodists like you. I invite you once again to give generously as we worship God through the sharing of our gifts, tithes and offerings.

Learn more about the work of our General Board of Higher Education & Ministry at www.gbhem.org

September 14, 2014 -- Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide
Merciful God, you have filled our lives with a deluge of love and grace. Yet we are too often stingy with forgiveness for others. While Christ’s sacrifice on the cross removed the weight of our sin, we continue to blend in with a world that is intent on keeping score and settling debts. May the gifts we give this morning, small in comparison with all we’ve received, help strengthen the church’s ministry of love and compassion. In our giving, may we make a witness as those who have been forgiven much and who seek to have Christlike grace shine through our lives. We pray this in his name. Amen. (Matthew 18:21-35)
"Prayers by Ken Sloan. Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used by permission."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

More Powerful than I, Reflection on Mark 1:5-8

The term "repentance" does carry the connotation of regret, but it means more than that. The Greek word metanoia that we translate as "repentance" means literally, "a change of mind." Not a simple "I'm sorry" or "I wish things could have been different," but rather a "I'm traveling a different way now."

Morna Hooker, in her commentary on Mark, lists the OT references implied in Mark's description of John: The rough garment of camel's hair is probably to be taken as an indication that he was a prophet (Zechariah 13:4). The reference to the leather belt echoes the description of Elijah (2 Kings 1:8). He calls the nation to repent as did Malachi (4:5). The locusts and honey are typical food for travelers in the wilderness and locusts were permitted in the Torah (Leviticus 11:21).

John is preparing his world for a new age with a new leader, one who is not only more powerful than the prophets who foretold his coming, but one who also is more powerful than the governors and Caesars of his time.

During this Advent season, let us remember John's promise. And let us remember that the Holy Spirit continues to work in the world and in our lives, to sustain us and to prompt us.

Lectio Divina: Mark 1:5-8; Psalm 85:8

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Inside church last Sunday this gospel is read whilst outside race riots rage.

Reflecting on John last week I said that “this Advent our story tells us to “Prepare the way of the Lord!” To get on out and get marching!” On Sydney’s Cronulla Peninsula crowds flock from the centre to the margins, responding to the call (txt messages actually) for Anglo Aussies to “reclaim” the beach from “Lebs” and “Wogs”. This wasn’t the ‘interruptions to business as usual’ I had envisioned. (Gaining much more media attention than things like the “Make Poverty History” marches and meeting of the WTO.)

This week of Advent has seen reaction and counter reaction, rioting, ‘blame game’ finger pointing, the predictable sound byte diagnosis of left and right and the now common place rush to strengthen legislation.

The striking image for me was of a bare chested white anglo “Aussie” youth, draped in the flag (ala Superman), with the words “I grew here, you flew here.” scrawled across his chest.

Una Malachica said...

Intrusions in our lives always upset us--sometimes, we welcome the new; sometimes, we reject it, and reject it strongly.

Are you seeing the presence of Christ and Christ's message in the deplorable situation you are in the midst of this Advent season?

How do Christians respond to words like the ones that the unwelcoming youth posted?

What do we have to offer him?

Una Malachica said...

and--i missed the irony of the chest message the first time