Saturday, October 24, 2015
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for November 1st: Isaiah 25: 6-9; Psalm 24; Revelation 21:1-6; John 11:32-44; Theme: All Saint’s Day; Song: Marching to Zion UMH 733 Revelation: This is an explanation of the fullness of time. When all that has happened to us will finally make sense. Our reward in the life to come. New Jerusalem is something to look forward to. When the light of God finally comes to earth there will be no darkness. Other parts of Revelation so speak of the Saints all marching in to honor and to see God. We are a part of the communion of Saints, the living and the dead. God’s promise to both is that he is making all things new. He will make a difference in our lives. Everything that we do in this life, everything that happens to us, prepares us for that moment. The beginning and the end are the same, because God is Alpha and to Omega. We don’t have to be sad as endings, because they are just new beginnings. John: What better story to highlight the power of All Saints day, than the story of Lazarus. Jesus visits Bethany, and his good friends Mary and Martha report that their brother Lazarus has died. When they see Jesus, they tell him that he could have kept his brother alive. But in order to demonstrate the power of God, Jesus brings Lazarus back to life. Jesus is the master of resurrection. That means that there will be times in life when things fall apart. Jesus doesn’t say that he will hold it all together, he says that he will put it back together again. Death is a part of life, and will happen to us all. As a matter of fact, even Lazarus, Mary and Martha eventually all died. But in life they can be grateful that they got a second chance. The good news is that the power of resurrection is always available as long as we have life. There is a chance for us to start again. To begin anew. To be grateful for the people and things that we do have in life. Questions: If you had a second chance, what would you do all over again? What do you imagine heaven to be like? What needs to be healed in your life? This all saints day – what legacy of your life do you hope to pass on to future generations? What does resurrection mean to you? Why do you think it is powerful? What is the use of coming back to life, if you are only going to die again?
Friday, October 2, 2015
Breaking Open the Scripture Scriptures for October 11th: Job 23:1-9, 16-17; Psalm 22:1-15; Hebrews 4:12-16; Mark 10:17-31; Theme: Children’s Sabbath; Hymn: Nobody Knows the Trouble I See UMH 520 Hebrews: Logos means a word that wiggles – a word that moves. We hear a lot of words from a lot of people. There are a lot of people who are able to make promises. Sometimes they come true, sometimes they don’t. But we can be sure that Jesus words for us are always backed with action. Jesus always means what he says. When we cannot depend on anyone else, we can depend on Jesus. Hebrews explains to us who Jesus is, and what we can expect from him. We receive mercy and grace when we need help. Logos is another word for Jesus. A word that is always backed with action. Mark: I am seriously thinking about going on a purchase fast. I need to save money. But being a consumer seriously clouds our vision and I think also our judgement. Jesus tells this young man that in order to inherit the kingdom of God he must sell everything that he has and give it to the poor. Jesus is not concerned about how much money we have, but he knows that money has a way of clouding our vision. He tells us that most of all, we must be able to see the kingdom of God. God favors the poor, because they don’t have anything standing in their way. God will take care of them in this life and the next. They will live a life that helps them to see God. Questions: how does Jesus put his words into action in your life? Where have you seen the work of Jesus within the last week? What is mercy? What is grace? How have you experienced those two gifts this week? What stands in the way of seeing God in your life? Can you give it up? What does it mean to be rich? Is being rich and having money the same thing?