Saturday, June 30, 2012

July 8, 2012

Scriptures For July 8th: 2 Samuel 5:1-5,9-10; Psalm 48; 2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-13; Theme: How can we be faithful to God, when everything else is going wrong? Song: We’re Marching to Zion – UMH 733 2 Corinthians: Paul is giving us a lesson in what it means to be a good steward of the gifts that God has given us. He goes through great pain to be an example of what it means to be a good leader. He teaches us that it is important to be humble. All of those competing against him like to brag about what they have done. For Paul, his service to God brags for itself. Paul also points out that he has a little help from God in being humble. God has given him a thorn in his side. He does not say what it is, but he says that it is with him always. Everyday he has to overcome the pain and suffering in order to have the right frame of mind to continue to love and serve God with a happy spirit. Mark: Jesus has been all around the countryside healing and doing miracles. People have come to realize that he is not an ordinary man, he was the power to do really special things. Just as Paul realizes, success in doing the Lord’s work does not mean that one can afford to rest on one’s laurels. Jesus goes to his hometown synagogue in hopes of making a difference for them. But they are not willing to believe in the power of God that Jesus has. But that is okay, because it gives Jesus a chance to send out his disciples to go throughout the land. He sends them two by two, and he gives them the power to do what he has done and more, so that more people can come to believe in the power of God in their lives. Those disciples continue to send out people two by two, throughout the world, even throughout Englewood. Questions: What is the thorn in your side that keeps you humble in your service? How is your service different from those who like to brag about what they are doing? How do you imitate Paul in your service to God? How does your hometown reject Jesus? How does Jesus send you out to spread the gospel? What power has he given you to heal and to go up against evil?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

July 1, 2012

Scriptures For July 1st : 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27; Psalm 130; 2 Corinthians 8:7-15; Mark 5:21-43 Theme: The miracles of Jesus; Song: Pass Me not O Gentle Savior – UMH 351 2 Samuel: David is now the king. He has had a long relationship with Saul’s family. Saul was intimidated by David’s power. He even sent soldiers to kill David. Saul’s son, Jonothon, was David’s best friend. David even married Saul’s daughter. But in death, David’s worst enemy became his best friend. Both Saul and Jonathon were killed in battle. After their death, David called the whole nation together and called for a national time of mourning. Saul may have had a lot of faults, but he served his country with all of his heart. The people had an easier life things were better. David called the nation to remember the moment of his death, and to honor what he had done for his country. He was genuinely sad because of the death. Today we don’t honor any leader, the way David honored Saul. Mark: We are hearing more about the miracles of Jesus. How much he was willing to enter into the lives of ordinary people, and change circumstances, and to save lives. In this miracle story, we hear about the woman who had an issue with blood, and Jairus’ daughter who had already died. Jesus was able to save them both. But that was not the end to the miracle. When Jesus saves the lives of the individual, he also works to save the community. He changes their expectations, he teaches them to have hope in the midst of a dire situation. He teaches them to look beyond social understandings in order to accept those who are sick and who are different. He taught love for those who are sick. But most importantly, he taught us to believe in all that he could do to transform our lives. Questions: Who was the last person that the whole nation mourned over his death? Who is a modern day David, that can influence us to mourn the lives of a great person? What are the things that we do to mourn today? How long do we take to mourn a death? What do we believe about the miracles of Jesus? Do we still see miracles today? How do we feel about people who are constantly sick?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June 10, 2012

Scriptures For June 10th: 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13; Psalm 20, II Corinthians 5:6-17; Mark 4:26-34 theme: learning to trust God; Song- Precious Lord – UMH 474 I Samuel: This marks an important movement in the history of the Jews. God had always told them not to have a king to lead them. That king would take resources and power intended for the people. But not only did the Isrealites notice that those around them were getting ahead because they did have centralized leadership. They also realized that sometimes the judges were corrupt, and were not doing what was best for the people. So God consents and lets them have a king. Samuel has the task of anointing this first king – which is Saul. Saul remained nervous that someone would overthrow him. But God assured Samuel that he would protect the king, and that he would protect Samuel’s decision as long as Samuel was willing to listen to God through every step of the process. Mark: We have returned to the book of Mark. The story continues with evangelism. We go to work with the disciples as they are fulfilling their duty as fishermen. Jesus is teaching them to be fishers of men. Our text for today deals with the parable of the sower, which is found in many other versions. Mark explains to us that we all plant, but the growth happens in the night. We don’t have anything to do with it, and we cannot really explain how it happens. Jesus goes on to tell another parable, of how a mustard seed is the tiniest of seeds, but it multiplies into the biggest of plants. Jesus is giving us faith to hold and and trust God in examples of normal everyday life – parables. The text ends by saying that Jesus is telling these parables to help us understand the mystery of God. Questions: What big changes are going on in the world today? In the life of the church? How do we as faithful people accept change? When we are in the midst of change, do we trust God, or do we think that we have to have the answers for ourselves? What do we think about evangelism and growth? Is it something hard to do? Impossible to do? Once again, what role do we give to God in our task to bring in new members? If Jesus was here with in the flesh today, what normal everythings would he use in the parables?