Text: James 2:1-17
Home: A place where one lives, esp. as a member of a family or household. A place where something flourishes or is most typically found.
As you can probably tell by the extremely preliminary opening of reading a definition from a dictionary – I’ve been at a bit of a loss. I’m not sure why, but out of all the sermons I’ve written (which granted is nowhere close to Nancy’s or many of you even) until this point I have never been at such a loss of what to say – not because there’s nothing to say, but because there’s too much to say. [Read more…]
Text: Luke 9:37-43
Text: Luke 7:36-8:3
Since being out of school and in the real world and moving to a new town, I have learned an abundance of approaches on “how to meet someone” that will result in not really getting to know that person at all. Said another way, I have unintentionally become fluent in small talk. You know, the kind of talk that basically produces one-dimensional conversations, and even relationships. True adulthood.
For example, just after I moved to Raleigh, I was invited to hang out with a group of women my age at the park on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. I somehow, within three minutes of meeting these women accidentally launch into full on interview mode. Going around the circle practically asking each woman, one by one, what they did – as in, where they worked. I thought I was starting conversation, but I remember watching each one visibly cringe at the question. Not only does next to nobody want to be talking about work on a beautiful day at the park, but probably more importantly who wants to be pin-holed and defined, right off the bat, by what they do for a living.
My intentions were good but my assumptions and strategy were horrible! Needless to say, nine months later I have only a meager Facebookian friendship with one of these women.
Learning, or figuring out, or getting to know, or seeing people for who they are is no small task – or small talk.
Text: Mark 13:17-21
The story in today’s reading is soooooo true…
And we HATE IT!
Mark’s account of this story is a bit different than that of his counterparts. For one thing, there is no indication in Mark that the individual in the story is young or a ruler. (Rich, young, ruler as it’s often called in the other Gospels). Mark’s account goes something like this:
Preface: Jesus is in a hurry, inconspicuous, and confusing – at best – in this gospel. To find yourself amazed, or scared, or lost is to fit in perfectly, sitting somewhere between Peter and the person in today’s story.
After a record number of exorcisms and healings, parables and predictions, the word must be out. Regardless of Jesus’ effort at “stay in the closet,” hiding his true identity, “who he was” seemed to have leaked pretty obvious signs (as it always does), regardless of how many times someone outed him and he responded with some form of “shhh.”
The person in this story, too, had figured it out, calling him “good,” a word pretty much exclusively used to talk about God –maybe like our word “Holy” or something.
And, so, action: