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 Episcopal Fund, your church not only supports the Bishop who serves your conference, but the global work of our United Methodist episcopal leaders. Your giving makes possible their witness for the whole church in many areas including evangelism, justice ministries, global health and working with the world’s poor. 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.

August 31, 2014 -- Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost/in Kingdomtide

Learn more about the work of the Council of Bishops of the UMC at: http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/council-of-bishops

Holy God, we bring our gifts to your altar this morning, remembering that Jesus told us that if we were truly to be his disciples we would need to “deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow.” It’s tempting to try to follow, without taking the cross; or to try to follow, without denying ourselves. More often, we seek to simply take the name of “Christian” without the denying, the taking of the cross, or the following. Guide us, Lord, on this journey of discipleship. Use these gifts, and use us. In our Savior’s holy name, we pray. Amen. (Matthew 16:21-28)

"Prayers by Ken Sloan. Copyright General Board of Discipleship. www.GBOD.org Used by permission."

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pilate Questions Jesus, a Reflection on John 18:33-37

Pilate's questions: Are you the King of the Jews? What have you done that has caused you to be arrested? 

Pilate's job is to protect his government and he wants to know if this man Jesus is a threat to peace and stability.

Jesus responds that he is not the kind of king that Pilate has been trained to watch out for. He doesn't have an army, for example.

Pilate asks again: Are you a king? Jesus responds "That's what you say," then adds some remarks that I think would have been unintelligible to Pilate:
For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.
And, isn't it hard to understand how truth can prevail without having an army? without being a threat to powerful people? How can we defend ourselves against truth, anyway?

After all, Jesus didn't say that his followers were going to withdraw from the world. He said that it wasn't the world that gave him his authority.

1 comment:

John, an unlikely pastor said...

Thanks for getting straight into the text.
it's something to imaging the moment. Pilate was in a strange position for a man of power and action standing with a humiliated would be king. He usually viewed Judea as a place to control and yet somehow he was out of control in this situation where he thought he had control.
His wife had a bad dream the night before. He had likely just wished he could find a way forward to dismiss this man and move one. And here came the truth and a kingdom in his midst that he could never contain.
Jesus from the start of his ministry was bringing God's Kingdom close to us (mark 1:15). Maybe that's the part of the mystery that made Pilate so uncomfortable
pax. John