Sunday, June 28, 2009

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

Today's Link
Comfort Spiral

Today's Saying
Faith makes the discords of the present the harmonies of the future. ~Robert Collyer

Today's Picture

Liturgical churches that use the Common Lectionary are celebrating the fourth Sunday after Pentecost today. The gospel text is Mark 5;21-43.
The text contains two miracles, the healing of a woman and the raising of a dead twelve year old girl.
There was a time when miracle stories were simply rejoiced in. They showed God in Christ touching people and making them whole.
Today, however, lots of people are almost ashamed of the miracle stories. They want the Church to fit into the modern age and the modern age is the age of science and reason. Miracles simply don’t happen in this world view. Even some of the people who belong to the church feel this way. The church is okay because it says God loves us and because it tells us to love our neighbor but the miracle stuff they can’t accept.
Pastors and theologians try to explain away the miracles . They explain away the events. The little girl wasn’t dead she was in a coma. The excitement of seeing Jesus changed the woman’s internal chemistry and the bleeding stopped.
This is sad because miracles and miracle stories still have power.
They are exciting.
They are thrilling.
They remind us that God is not out there somewhere waiting for us to die but is active in this world.
They deepen faith. ( Please note they don’t create faith.)
As one who has experienced miracles in his own life both big ones and small ones. I can tell you they are really wonderful events.
I have also seen miracles in the lives of others both big ones and small ones.
Just for a minute I want you to think of the joy in the house of the little girl in the gospel. Do you think the father cared if it was a resurrection or she just came out of a coma. She was alive. She was well. God was there in Christ Jesus. Joy abounded.
A miracle can only be seen as a miracle by the eyes of faith. Unbelief can always explain it away.
But in explaining it away they lose so much.
They miss seeing God in action.
They miss the excitement.
They miss out on the adventure.
I remember a young man saying to me after he discovered that God was real that it was like looking at the world through a new pair of glasses that made it possible to see things he never saw before.
Miracles are part of that world.
Thank you God for breaking in to this world.

News from Pigeon Falls
The little town in my basement where the trains still run, dragons fly, and life is back to normal
Pastor Joan is in her study at Last Lutheran putting the finishing touches on today’s sermon. Here is a part of that sermon:
“Have you ever been laughed at because of your faith? Have you ever tried to talk to somebody about the faith only to have them laugh right in your face?
If you haven’t in this society your doing a good job of hiding what you believe.
Nobody wants to be laughed at.
As Charlie Brown says in the Peanut cartoon strip “ It hurts a face to be laughed on”.
But you can’t share the good news of who Jesus is without running the risk of being laughed at.
A long time ago a little girl seemed to have died. Her family and their friends gathered to mourn. There was crying and there was intense grieving. That’s how they handled death then.
Then along comes Jesus and says “ She’s not dead she is just asleep”.
But instead of saying “ That’s great”. They laughed at him.
He had come to heal and they laughed at Him.
Why? Because everybody knows you can’t heal the dead.
Now Jesus could have gone into the house without saying anything. He could have.
As miracles go it might have been more impressive if he hadn’t said she was just sleeping.
But he didn’t. He wanted them to know God was in control.
But they didn’t want to know so they laughed at Him.
But in laughing they missed the miracle.
In laughing they were left outside.
Many years have past but people haven’t changed much.
If they are sure they don’t want to hear or believe what you tell them they still laugh.
They still put themselves outside.
It is your task to be a little Christ and take the risk of being laughed at and let people know there is a loving God.
Every once in a while one will not laugh but step inside.
Another miracle from the God who loves us.”

Wrap UP
The temperature dropped so I could go to Church this morning. How great is that. The service was fine. We had a guest preacher. The fellowship afterward was great. I came home and posted everything to St. Mark's website. Then I visited all of the blogs that left comments yesterday.
Now I need a breathing treatment.


Blogger anthonynorth said...

I guess I'm caught in two worlds. I always seek rational explanation, but that always leaves me a little flat. It doesn't satisfy the inner spirituality I feel, and I wonder.

1:54 AM  
Blogger Sandi McBride said...

I heard a rumor that you were going to be moving to Jefferson SC to take up lecturing to those willing to learn...okay okay, so I started the rumor myself! I still believe in miracles and love the miracle stories. I think they abound in this day and time as surely as the stories of the destitute and homeless abound. Sometimes you just have to work at it...I don't mind work. That I'm here at all is a, when are we starting that lecture series?

4:07 AM  
Blogger Melli said...

Right ON!!! How I LOVE a miracle! I've seen my share... that's for sure! I hope I haven't seen ALL of my share. Oh... I know I haven't! Miracles SURROUND me!!!

Have a great day Pastor!!!

4:26 AM  
Blogger Lou said...

That God forgives us our sins is the first miracle. I had a lazy faith, but I experienced my own personal miracle a few years ago, so I know now not to question how or why.

5:25 AM  
Blogger Nessa said...

I love miracles. They are like the decorations at a party.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Sue said...

I believe in miracles!!

7:02 AM  
Blogger Maude Lynn said...

This is marvelous, Dr. John!

7:19 AM  
Anonymous quilly said...

I have had a few miracles in my life, too. God is right here with us in the world today.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Alice Audrey said...

Is that a costume tie or a winner's ribbon?

12:55 PM  
Blogger Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

People who don't believe that miracles happen are truly missing out. And missing out on having a fellowship with God and Jesus.

Thank you for sharing.

A Wonderful Blessed Sunday is wished for you and Betty.

1:51 PM  
Blogger Baron's Life said...

I always believed and think there is a greater power out there...enjoyed the sermon...May God forgive us our sins for we will sin again

2:47 PM  
Blogger Carver said...

Great photograph and quote of the day as well as an thought provoking post. Happy Sunday.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is one thing I believe in is miracles. Excellent sermon today Dr. John

5:13 PM  
Blogger Jeni said...

Miracles happen to all of us each and every day but all too often people think only those such as the ones written about in the Bible as being miracles. Sometimes, I think we have become so acclimated to expecting the spectacular that we don't see what is really spectacular around us every single day.
For some, simply waking up to greet another day can be a miracle. A new baby is a miracle. Trees, flowers, the animals around us, the planet earth, all the others in the heavens -all are miracles too.
Life is a miracle even when things may not seem to be going as smoothly as we like, it is still most certainly airacle, isn't it?
To coin the old expression "Stop and smell the roses" is telling us to simply stop, look around and see all the miracles that are here if you want to look for them and then, recognize them as such.

7:59 PM  
Blogger KB said...

Life is full of miracles.

10:08 PM  
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Blogger Unknown said...

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