Good morning. First and foremost we have another opportunity to read today's reading live on Zoom starting at 6pm. If you have been a participant in the past month you will receive a separate email reminder but all are welcome to join. The Zoom chat lasts ~45 minutes and involves time to read the scripture together, discussion about the content and the connections we see, and to ask questions about anything that might still be confusing. I hope to see you this evening!
Reading the Bible LIVE May 24, 2021 06:00 PM Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7312418277pwd=VFVOdTVhTDliN1hsR3ViYTN0YzRaUT09 Meeting ID: 731 241 8277 Passcode: 123456
Today's reading will take us through two more chapters of Mark's gospel and Psalm 98. Let's jump in.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this teach me about Jesus?
What does this teach me was happening at the time? (what might have influenced this story)
What, if anything, feels applicable to today? What does it challenge me to do in response?
- A Final Word -
Friends, this space where my thoughts go has unfortunately become a deterrent to scripture and it's power to move you on it's own. This section was initially done as a space to start conversation by volunteering my thoughts before asking you for yours, but that has now resulted in some controversy for our church - be that upsetting you at times to now upsetting our larger community. While I do not care if someone does not like me (as that is inevitable in any position of leadership) the brand and image of our church is beginning to be tarnished by my edgy comments. After internal conversations with our staff, SPRC, and DS we are eliminating this section of the blogs indefinitely. We've done this once before when my comments became inflammatory and bringing them back was a mistake. We started this journey so that you could read scripture, engage with scripture, and learn God's story of redemptive love for you. Over the course of time of leading and facilitating this I've used this platform to a create a brand for myself. That was not only unfair, but took away from the primary engagement point of this daily journey.
So this is my final thought about scripture and the thing that I hope to leave you with moving forward. The Bible is a beautiful book about God's love and victory over the powers of sin. It's a story about people breaking God's heart, but not God's capacity for love. It's a story about people being fearful and betraying one another, but not God's belief in unity. It's a story of beautiful and messy people being made perfectfullly and wonderfully in the image of God - and while you might not recognize that love yet for yourself, it nevertheless remains. While sin still exists in our world today - the story of Jesus on the cross is a daily reminder that it will not win, and encourages each of us to live our best lives to diminish the effects of sin day by day. As we move forward in scripture and encounter the disciples and Paul taking on the positions of leadership in the church and their final musing before their deaths in the epistles I hope you will find God's spirit moving through you, and I hope you find some reflection of your own faith journey (including all its beautiful and messy struggles) in the words of the beautiful and messy disciples.
If you have questions on the text, or need clarification on the text, I want you to know that I am still available privately by email.
Thank you for sticking with this journey and I'm excited for you to continue to engage with God's word in my silence.
In His Grace,
Praying the Hymns
We do not have a hymn to sing today as 253 in our United Methodist Hymnal is only a prayer inspired by the Baptism of the Lord by John the Baptist. I invite you to close out our time today by reading this prayer.
Father in heaven, at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan you proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit. Grant that all who are baptized into his name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, One God, in glory everlasting. Amen.