Saturday, November 3, 2012

November 18, 2012

Scriptures for November 18th: 1 Samuel 2:1-10; Hebrews 10:11-25; 1 Samuel 1:4-20; Mark 13:1-8 Theme: God’s abundance in the midst of Man’s scarcity; Song: O God our help in Ages Past – UMH 117 1 Samuel: We are getting closer to Advent, we are getting closer to the day when the world will be turned on its age. Today we hear not about a widow, but about a wife who cannot bear children. Once again, even when married, a woman without a child is nothing. It looks like Hannah will have to live a life of misery. But she prays constantly to God. As a matter of fact, all that she prays for is for a son. When she gets a son, she gives him over to God. this is her song of celebration to the God of reversals. God reverses her fortune. This song is a precursor to Mary’s song of celebration of reversal not just for Mary, but for all of her people. Hannah is so grateful to God that she allows her son to be raised in the service of God. Would we do the same with our gifts? Mark: Jesus has come to the end of his journey. He knows that he must travel back to Jerusalem. He is also very clear about what must happen when he get there, it is the end of the story. Then end of his story. His disciples are not ready to accept that truth yet. Jesus must explain what is happening in terms that they will understand. Once again this is another story of the world being turned upside down and we still have two more Sundays before advent. Jesus destroys the temple, but then he tells them that all of the buildings will be destroyed. There will be wars and disagreements, and people will be hungry. (With the occurrence of hurricane Sandy – that sounds like today). But once again in a reversal of fortune, Jesus says this is not an ending but a beginning. Questions: How is Hannah’s song a song of celebration for us? How is Hannah like Mary? How is she different? What would it look like if the poor became rich? Would they act the same, or would life truly be different? What do the women have to contribute to history? How are widows and women with children treated in today’s world? Where are you seeing birth pangs, locally and globally? Who is putting themselves forward as Savior? How are folks modeling or learning what it means to live light on the apparent powers and "lean heavy" on Jesus? Note: Rev. Cross’s sermons can be found online at She also has a personal blog: Reflections on life at Breaking open the scriptures can be found at You can also follow Englewood UMC and Rust UMC on Facebook

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