Meeting St. Mark Today: Understanding the Man, His Mission, and His Message
Today's reading is typical of Paul's introductions to the letters he wrote to communities that he helped found and form. The difference here is that the church in Rome is not a community that Paul had actually visited or helped to found. Paul believed that the radical claim of "Jesus is Lord" was a direct and necessary challenge to the Roman claim that "Caesar is Lord". This is critical to Paul in claiming that Jesus was indeed equal and co-eternal with the God of the Jews.
Paul's Mission and Letters
For Paul it logically follows that every power and principality is subject to the kingship of Jesus and that the coming of the Kingdom of God is the central and ultimate truth to which all of creation toward which the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus points. Worship, work in the world and the life of personal ethics and morality are shaped by the books of scripture that are at the heart of our traditions.
- ich glaubs nicht - Turbulente Beziehungsgeschichten (Paula König-Ludwig 1) (German Edition).
- St. Mark's Missives.
- Robert Rumilly: Lhomme de Duplessis (French Edition)?
- Meeting St Mark Today: Understanding the Man, His Mission, and His Message | Garratt Publishing?
We find a great deal of meaning in the collections of stories and wisdom passed along from generation in the faith. You may be surprised to learn that Islam holds both Jesus and his mother Mary in very high esteem. Similarly, Jesus, like Muhammed is identified as a prophet, one who speaks for God, in the Koran. Hold onto that verse for a bit, I will come back to it later.
Before writing any of the stories of the Old Testament, New Testament or Koran down, they were passed along orally. We make meaning by story. We remember events and people past through story. We share great truths through story. The Bible, as we know it, is a collection of books-a library if you will-that tells a bigger story.
This is true individually and as communities of faith from age to age. I remember being introduced to a mnemonic device as a young person that I originally thought was interesting. One of my early mentors in the Christian life. He wrote the word history on a piece of paper. Then he wrote it again by making it two words- his-story. He made the assertion that all of what has happened and will happen in the world is held together in Jesus Christ. Later on I considered it sort of contrived and silly.
I believe this old tools is as useful as it ever was. This all serves as background to the work before us here at St. When a group of folks gathered around to start a new Episcopal Church, it is my understanding they did not have a building. What they did have was a sense of God calling them together to be a witness to this area of Hampton. In addition to being called to worship and witness to a particular place, St. There were white folks and people of color that found a spiritual home at St. Decades later another marginalized group found oasis at St.
As a longtime member of the parish wrestled with gender identity issues, the leadership of St. It was a costly and faithful decision. This is the heart of discernment. Radical welcome continues to be one of the core values and gifts that St. Discernment differs from decision-making.
You know what I am talking about. This method is putting two columns on a page representing a choice between two options and listing the pros and cons between the two. When we have seen the overwhelming number on one side of the ledger, the choice is clear. Discernment, spiritual discernment, is different.
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What tips the scales in spiritual discernment is not the number of reasons for choosing a particular options, but in looking for where the Holy Spirit leads. This typically happens best in community and only through a commitment to prayer and time. Decision-making is about finding answers.
Discernment, at its most faithful, is about seeking out and living into the questions. What will guide is in the discernment event we have today and looking forward will emerge first in seeking which questions we are to answer. What are the core values at St. What are your hopes and fears going into an unknown process?
What ideas can you offer as we move forward? May we all prayerfully travel together trusting that the story of St. Ge That basically means this church is being directed by the author of the letter to get clear about what the Good News Gospel of God in Christ is and how to go about sharing this Gospel with the people among whom the community lives, moves and has its being. I have been concentrating on this basic call of and to community as a model for how we might be called to discern and articulate our call to mission and ministry at St.
In a number of ways the American Church has patterned its first leg of Ordinary Time the Season after Pentecost along similar lines. Life at St. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. It seems to me there are important parallels for our common life at St. Like Porgy, we have obvious and seemingly insurmountable challenges to the mission to which we have been called. Also like Porgy, we are bound not to let those limitations keep us from serving as agents of good in the lives of those we have been called to seek and serve in our community.
Despite ups and downs, barriers and obstacles, Porgy persists in his mission to save Bess in spite of his limitations and the underdog and apparently futile nature of his commitment to seeing Bess freed from the clutches of the relationships that threaten to destroy her life. We too are called to persist in the work we have been given to do in being the incarnation of the Body of Christ in Hampton, the Peninsula, the Commonwealth, the nation and the world.
To be sure, there are problems with the depiction of African American life as written by composer George, lyricist Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward the author of the story upon which Porgy and Bess is based. In the days, weeks and months to come it is my fervent prayer that we, like Porgy, pursue the work we have been given to do without fear of the damage it may do to our reputation and with the steadfast belief in the power of love to set free captives like Bess and those who are like her.
Mt — Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen?
Mark Today an ideal resource for individual Scripture study or group Bible study. Ultimately, Meeting St. He has served as the general editor of New Testament Abstracts since , and he is the author of more than 50 books and hundreds of articles on various biblical topics. Meeting St.
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