I love when both my Sunday churches preach on the same lectionary.
Karl was at a conference, so Kelsey and Kristy led service.
Kelsey's Words of Assurance she invoked the story of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus' garment. Jesus said, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace." Kelsey said, "Hear the Good News: Your sins are forgiven."
I was SO STOKED to hear Words of Assurance that were succinct and straightforward (I can't focus on Karl's Words of Assurance to save my life) and clearly rooted in Scripture (I don't necessarily disagree with what Karl says is the Good News, but I would like a clear actual source; Rest and Bread's Words of Assurance are Jesus' "come to me all you who are weary..." and then ending with "We are a forgiven people. (Amen)," which seems to me a reasonable textual choice).
Sermon: "Stormy Weather"
"Let us go across to the other side." Jesus had been doing his ministry in his home turf of Galilee, but on the other side is the Decapolis, a Hellenistic area with few Jews.
Kelsey posited the storm as an example of the consequences of choosing to follow Jesus.
Jesus calls the disciples not just to watch him cross borders but to cross borders themselves.
She said that in the Old Testament, storms represent chaos and anarchy.
Perhaps Jesus is comfortable in the chaos.
In Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak, he talks about midlife depression, coming in part out of conforming to others' expectations, She quoted from a poem: "Whatever has been uprooted, let it be a seedbed for whatever is to come."
The storm on the sea makes possible the ministry to the Gentiles.
The disciples don't doubt Jesus' power [they wake him up so that he can save them], but they fail to recognize Christ's peace from the beginning.
"We make the road by walking."
Children's Time: Marla told a story of one of our children, with a takeaway message about the courage to do what we believe to be right, even when it isn't what anyone else around is doing, and also about how we always do have people/God with us, supporting us.]
Hebrew Bible Lesson: edited version of David and Goliath (from 1 Samuel 17)
Gospel Lesson: Mark 4:35-41
In her Reflection, Marla talked about how David couldn't move in the armor and weapons that Saul gave him (which was the piece that had most struck me upon hearing the reading), and how we are not called to fight Goliath on Goliath's terms. If we fight Goliath and win using Goliath's own tools, we become Goliath, and that's not really what we want. If we only use Goliath's paths, then we end up with only paths that Goliaths walk on. We want to make new paths.
She talked about the Mark passage. She asked: Who were Jesus' first disciples? They were fishers. It was probably one of their own boats they took out. She said that we often forget about that line that says there were other boats with them, and we don't hear that any of those other boats sank or anything. She said that she likes to think that the fishers in the other boats were doing what they needed to do to handle a storm. Jesus was asleep -- hey, he's a carpenter, not a fisher. They wake him up, and he calms the storm, and then he turns to them and says, "Have you still no faith?" Have you no faith in yourselves, in your own abilities?
She closed by reading from Wendell Berry's poem "Do Not Be Ashamed."
She talked about trying to get people in Cambridge (Massachusetts) on board around issues of climate change and how they insist that it's not possible. She said, "Of course it's not possible. If it were possible, we would have done it already. We have to make the road that gets us there." (I would quibble with that a bit -- there are plenty of things that are possible that we haven't done for any number of reasons -- but I understand what she's getting at.)
My best friend's pastor said that the disciples don't ask Jesus, "Fix this," but "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" that when people reach out to us in crisis, they are not necessarily looking for us to fix thing (though that may be our instinctual response) but rather to care that they are suffering.
For anyone braving the Job portion of the lectionary, may I recommend a Radio National "Encounter" program called "Ashes," looking at the Book of Job (see my post here). I still really like Robert Eisen's take on the "happy ending" of Job.
2 weeks ago