Pentecost 2 06-06-2021

Genesis 3:8-15; Psalm 130; 2nd Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35

From our lesson in Genesis, we see that Moses has climbed up on the mountain of the Lord, to see what was burning that was not consumed by the fire. God told Moses He was the God of his father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the Gd of Jacob. He then instructed Moses to remove his sandals, for where he was standing was holy ground, and Moses fell facedown before the Lord. The Lord told Moses he was aware of the misery of His people, He had heard them crying out because of their slave drivers and was concerned about their suffering. He had come down to rescue His people to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and he was sending Moses to Egypt to bring His people out of oppression and to Him. Moses asked that if they ask me, who do I say you are? He told him, “I Am Who I am. This what you are to say to the Israelites: “I am has sent me to you.” He said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers—-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and he God of Jacob—-has sent me to you.”

In Hebrew, the name is composed of only four consonants, YHWH, because ancient Hebrew script did not contain vowels. The Israelites were so concerned about not mispronouncing God’s name, so they instead substituted another word, ‘adonai,’ translated ‘Lord,’ Today scholars have deduced the name is Yahweh.

Two important ideas grow out of the disclosure of God’s personal name: 1) God is declared a personal God. His is not an impersonal force, like gravity. In ancient times disclosure of your first name was very personal act. 2) God show His love for his people, by initiating a personal, intimate relationship. Almighty God has stooped down to our level to share His personal name and that He had been with them since the call of Abraham, and the indication is that He will be with us from this point on. He is eternal and His intention is to be with us eternally.

From our lesson in Psalm 130, we learn it is a traditional penitential psalm, stressing repentance and forgiveness for sins.

Without God’s forgiveness, we would be crushed under the weight of our own sins. We do not suffer all the punishment our sins deserve. For the Christian redemption in Christ is not merely from sins, but from a natural inclination and dedication to sin. God hears our cry of repentance, grants us mercy, and forgives our sin through His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

In 2nd Corinthians we learn that Paul is facing opposition in Corinth ad had to endure the weakness of his gradually dying body. Still his emphasis was on thanksgiving because he had confidence God would raise him and his fellow believers just as He raised Jesus.

The temporary troubles of life fade in light of he eternal glory that waist for us. God is the Author of resurrection. Resurrection will introduce believers to Christ’s eternal presence; even in trouble times beloved, we find hope by fixing our gaze on the invisible, eternal world rather than the material, temporary world. Furthermore, God’s grace was reaching more and more persons, in Corinth and elsewhere during the Apostolic Age. His grace is behind the growth and expansion of the Christian faith. We would overflow with thanks and praise as God causes His church to grow.

In the Gospel of Mark for today, we have a multitude of lessons that must be understood and avoided at all costs. Jesus and his disciples and many believers entered a house, so that he and his disciples wee not eve able o eat. Then his family heard about this, they went to take care of him, for they said, “He is out of his mind.” And the teachers of the law who came down from Jerusalem said, “He is possessed by Beelzebub! By the prince of demons he is driving out demons.” So Jesus called them out and spoke to them in parables: “How can Satan, drive out Satan? If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. If a house is divided against itself. And if Satan opposes himself and is divided, he cannot stand; his end has come. In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house and carry off his possessions unless he first ties up the strong man. Then he can rob his house. I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them. But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin.”

Often beloved, we have a mistaken idea that we can handle strife or division in our country, in our churches, and even our homes, but I tell you the truth, that without seeking God’s help through the Holy Spirit, seeking God’s guidance in every and all things, all will collapse. Notice I mentioned our churches? I have witnessed division in churches over things like, “We’ve always done it this way (which will stop new ways of think in their tracks). Or why is we have to follow guidelines from outside our church, like our Diocese, instead of listening to learned person or clergy who have different ideas on how our church ought to function. Or Why do we have seek permission for things that we want to do with our church? I could go on, but in fact in our case, we are a liturgical church that has a hierarchy who we report to. Many times I worked in churches who requested to do things that were not necessarily done in all churches, and were granted permission to do so. They simply want to be kept informed on what and how were are doing and is our program or project are working. If so, they may want to highlight us to other churches in our denomination on how we are looking outside of the box, so to speak. Why can I not be in charge of a ministry or not? This as in all things is reviewed by the clergy and efforts to help people enter lay ministry in a variety of ways.

Anything that causes friction among us, may be Satan at work. If it does not bring us together, then it ought to be looked at hard and eliminated. Satan won’t eliminated himself, but through the Holy Spirit we are able to determine if he is involved in anything causing us distress/strife/division, and then we seek God’s help in removing the problem.

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. They sent a message inside that his mother and brother were looking for Him. Jesus look around to all that were with Him and said, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” he asked. He then said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.

The closest and most precious human relationships are inside the family. Jesus calls us to even dearer relationships—-inside His spiritual family. These relationships are formed by total commitment to Jesus’ way of life. They may enhance normal family relationships. They may may even replace family relationships.

So let me simply asked you this simply question. Whom do you serve? Do you put limits on how much time you spend on church related work? Do you worship and then leave and lead another lifestyle? Do you take Jesus into every aspect of your life at home, work, and even play? Jesus asked Peter, “Peter, do you love me?” Well you know the rest. Now, ask yourselves this same question. Amen


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