Sunday, February 08, 2009

Fifth sunday

Today's Link
From the Backwoods

Saying for the day
Past the seeker as he prayed came the crippled and the beggar and the beaten. And seeing them... he cried, "Great God, how is it that a loving creator can see such things and yet do nothing about them?" God said, "I did do something. I made you." ~Author Unknown

Picture of the Day

It is the fifth Sunday after the Epiphany and we are moving toward the Transfiguration and the end of the season of Epiphany. In the liturgical churches the text for today is Mark 1:29-39.
The text has a healing and then multiple healings. The light which is Christ now touches more and more lives. More and more people have to decide to walk in the light or away from it.
It seems logical that the people who put the texts together for Epiphany wanted us to see this continuing on going spreading of the light as we move toward the ultimate Epiphany which is the Transfiguration.
But here I have to make a confession. I almost never preached this text according to its liturgical content. There were two things that distracted me.
The first is that Peter had a mother-in-law. That means the first Pope was married. For some reason that always struck me funny. I never preached about it. But it still colored the way I saw the text.
The second is Peter’s mother-in-law herself. She reminded me first of my grandmother and then of a whole group of older ladies in my parish. I could see Grandma getting out of a sick bed to make soup for Tom to bring to a sick friend. She raised chickens to give away eggs. She had a raspberry patch so she could make pies that somebody else ate. She lived to serve. So did these ladies in my parish. One of them served so many funeral coffees that I had to check the kitchen the day of her funeral to be sure she wasn’t there. They lived to serve.
That’s what I saw in this text a lady healed to serve. That’s what all Christians are in some sense. Jesus has healed us from the cancer of sin. We are back on our feet. Now we can serve. So that’s what I preached.
If your one of those nice people who read my blog but don’t believe in Jesus serving is still a good thing. It makes your part of the world just a little better.
In any case it was a poor liturgical sermon but I still preached it in one form or another every three years when the text came up.
Just don’t tell my Bishop.

News from Pigeon Falls

The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal.
Herman is back from Marquette and went to the early service this morning. He is having trouble handling the way people look at him. He knows he is not a super hero. He went to the parsonage right after the service.
Oops , of course, knows what happened but she and he play the same as always. Today they are building a doll house from a kit.
Pastor Joan is preaching on the Gospel and the sermon is entitled :” After the Miracle”. What do you do when you have been healed, or when you have seen a healing ? She wants people to see that every time God pours some light into our life we must either embrace it or walk away from it.
Tommy UK is an acolyte this morning. He has not shared with anyone the confusion he feels. He doesn’t know why he took the rock and skipped school last Monday. He had forgotten that he had the rock. He could not understand how he gave power to Herman but he knew that he had. The entire event was something of a blur to him. He simply didn’t know who to talk to about it. Eino doesn’t believe in this stuff. His parents would freak out. Who can he talk to? Perhaps, Mrs. Trumble would listen and help him sort it all out.

Wrap UP
Another almost warm day. We got above freezing again. My oxygen was in the low normal range. Life is good. Went to Church and Pastor Steve preached on the end of the gospel lesson so the sermon was on prayer. A very good sermon I might add. My daughter lead the Sunday school in a review of what they had learned about the calling of the disciples then joined Pastor Steve in a puppet sermon. There was the annual meeting which started with a slide and movie presentation that contained a lot of the pictures I had taken and even a shot of my electric train that Jeff took. It was just one great morning, A number of people commented on my hair cut in a nice way. This is a great Church. In the afternoon I worked on the church website and used some of what I learned during the slide show to improve it a bit.I am going to have to spend some time learning a new way of doing things.Now I need a breathing treatment.
GBYA
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11 Comments:

Blogger Akelamalu said...

I like your reasoning Dr. John, I think I would have enjoyed your sermons. :)

I see they are building a dolls house in Pigeon Falls - I always wanted a dolls house but never got one. :(

3:42 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

Where did Tommy GET that rock anyway? I must have missed that installment!

Now I'm going to be paying extra special close attention to see if Pastor preaches on "service" or not today! NOT that I don't pay extra special close attention to every sermon he preaches... lol! I think your Bishop would be proud that you put a different twist on it.

7:27 AM  
Blogger Russell said...

Thank you for some very special words. YOU do make a difference...

A few years ago I my marriage fell apart. I suppose such things do not happen quickly but everything sort of seemed to hit me at one time. It was very confusing and even though I have always been a pretty directed somewhat confident person (though not as confident as some might think) I was in need of some help.

I went to the local priest and, for whatever reason, he did not offer any help to me. So I went to another priest in another town and he listened politely. Then he told me the Catholic church does not accept or believe in divorce. I said I did not either and that I was doing what I could to keep things together.

The priest would only say that the church does not accept divorce. It seemed like a senseless circle. The bottom line was pretty much that if I were divorced (whether my idea or not) the church would not have much to do with me. I had tried to be a good Catholic all my life and now that I was 50 years old I was being tossed away because I was going to be "divorced" -- regardless of how or why.

After a time I just said the heck with it all and pretty much washed my hands of the church. When I really needed some help it pushed me away.

So for a few years I have been pretty much angry about organized religion. I do listen to sermons on the radio on Sunday mornings. I still believe - but I don't have any time for the church any more...

I am rambling but thanks for a most excellent post. I completely agree with your feelings about Peter and his mother-in-law. I remember when my grandmother died in 1968 the priest mentioned that 3 of the pies that had been brought in for that funeral had been made by -- her! She actually made them for another funeral but they were used at hers.

You never know, do you, how life will turn out...

Take care.

7:33 AM  
Blogger Dragonstar said...

Being the channel for healing power has to be a confusing thing for those unexpectedly involved, and poor Tommy UK is just a kid still.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

LOL! Pastor preached on Isaiah this morning! No comparisons. His sermon was on hope and soaring like the eagle God wants us to be! I love getting all these different sermons! I LOVE IT!

9:47 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

Tommy should talk to Oops. She may not answer in the way he expects, but I bet she knows how he's feeling.

10:07 AM  
Blogger jmb said...

Serving others is a good thing, even in little ways. No matter who might have said Do unto others, it just makes common sense and we are all better for it when that happens.

But I am a believer and Catholic and the comment from the gentleman above makes my blood boil. Fortunately I have known priests who were much more understanding and helpful to those in his situation.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Lazy Daisy said...

Hey Dr. John....life is never dull in Pigeon Falls. Sounds like you had a blessed Sunday.

Our Sermon was on "the days of Elijah" and the coming of the Lord. If there had been a bus load leaving after church I would have gone.

Hope to visit you this spring. Gotcha all prayed up.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Gattina said...

The popes never married that's against the catholic religion ! But they had a lot of mistresses one woman was not enough and a bunch of children too. It was nice to be a pope at that time !
Women like you described we call in German "church mouse" or in french "grenouille de benitier" which litteraly translated means " a frog of the stoup", lol !

9:53 PM  
Blogger loisontheweb said...

GLAD TO HEAR THAT YOU HAVE SUCH A GREAT NEW "CHURCH-HOME". Just sounds like a wonderful group!
LOIS

6:37 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

Great lesson! You always give us great sunday messages. The comments today are very interesting too.

11:39 AM  

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