It is wise to direct your anger towards problems - not people, to focus your energies on answers - not excuses.
~William Arthur Ward
In many of the liturgical churches today is celebrated as the sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost. The Gospel in the Common Lectionary is Mark 9:30-37.
All during the period after Pentecost the texts have been helping us to see something we sometimes forget. The disciples and others that we call Saints were humans with human failings. They were not the perfect servants of God.
We look at ourselves and think if we were more like the disciples we would be far better Christians.
We would understand more clearly what God wants of us.
We would rush to do the will of God.
We would understand everything in the Bible.
But we aren’t like them, we think, so we fail.
We just aren’t good enough.
We don’t pray enough.
If only we were like them.
Today we see, again we are like them or they are like us.
Jesus says some very hard words to them and like us they don’t understand.
But they don’t dare ask him because they ought to know.
Does that sound familiar.
Then the disciples argue over which one of them is the greatest.
Here they are following the Creator of the Universe and bickering over position in the Kingdom.
And these are the Saints.
And we are like them in that sometimes we think of ourselves as better than others and that God owes us for our good works.
Jesus then explains that you can’t aim at being great in heaven. To be great you have to put aside greatness and serve others. You need to help the poor, feed the hungry, visit the sick.
There is so much we can learn by watching the disciples.
Praise God for the learning.
Despite all of the threats facing Pigeon Falls it is Sunday and Pastor Joan will preach, This is part of that sermon.:
Do you remember when only Lutherans were saved and everybody else went to Hell?
According to the leaders in those days we alone had the true Word and the true Sacraments.
Of course the Roman Catholics thought the same way and the Presbyterians.
The Baptists were sure none of us knew Jesus and we all needed to be saved.
Do you remember those days. They weren’t too long ago.
I’m glad they are over. We no longer have to save the saved in a world crying to meet Jesus.
We can be about the sharing of the good news.
In a sense the disciples had that same fight a long, long time ago when they argued over who would be greatest in heaven.
Jesus had to sit them down and say greatness is in the serving.
Well our churches have grown up and are doing a better job than before.
The question is– Have we?
We still like to see ourselves as better Christians than others.
Not by denomination, of course, but by performance.
Not by serving but by other performance.
We go to church more, give more, read the Bible more, and pray more than the one’s below us.
You know the one’s that don’t go to church except Christmas and Easter.
But the truth is if you were busy looking for ways to serve you would have no time to think of yourself as better.
You have good news go out there and share it.