Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Seven Paths: Greed – I’ll Have More of That Please!

Pastor Mark is resuming the message series: Seven Paths leading to darkness, Seven Paths leading to light. 

Seven Paths: Seven Paths: Greed – I’ll have more of that please!
Lk 12, 1 Tim 6, Eph 5

In Luke 12, Jesus is asked by two brothers, whose Father recently died, to settle a family inheritance matter.  Jesus gives a surprising answer, “Who am I to be the judge and mediator of this dispute?”  An extraordinary answer.  Isn’t Jesus the supreme Mediator and Judge?  

Instead, he confronts their squabble by addressing the issue of greed.  And he addresses the issue of greed by telling a short story that causes one to think about their mortality.  What does greed have to do with mortality anyway?  

Sunday, we will ask some good questions about this.  We will ponder our mortality.  Sound morbid?  It isn’t.  Sound depressing?  Far from it.  In contemplating our mortality, upon Jesus’ recommendation, we will find purpose in living.  At the same time, we will find the cure to greed.  (Generosity, gratitude, and contentment)      

Death is a reality that must be faced.  And Jesus has the answer to it.  How relevant a topic for today when we are reminded of our mortality and the mortality of others on the front page of the news every single day with a tally count of those who have died from COVID-19.  Can’t miss it, can’t ignore it, deny it, or push it away.    

Should we fear death?  That’s a trick question really.  It depends.  Why does Jesus have these two brothers reflect on their mortality in the midst of their squabble?  The answer isn’t spelled out, yet it’s in the story.  Rather than give you the answer right here, right now… See you Sunday.

You are invited to ‘come to worship’ Sunday with the Crestview Church diaspora, scattered about the front range, by way of Holy Spirit connection and the breath and wind of the internet… be there or be square, there is plenty to share,

In Him, Pastor Mark

Until Sunday, here are some more teachings from the Sermon on the Mount to chew on, Matthew Ch 7.    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bn-IMllGhBc

Shalom,
Mark

Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Advent Week 3: Spend More/ Spend Less

Sunday December 15th, Advent week #3: The Conspiracy of Generosity.  There is a beautiful story in the Bible about ‘seeing.’  When Hagar, an Egyptian servant of Sarah’s, is pregnant by Abraham to begin to build a family through Abraham – all of this sanctioned by Sarah who has been unable to bear children with Abraham.  Sarah begins to mistreat Hagar after she becomes pregnant with Abraham.  It gets so bad that Hagar flees.  And while in the desert, an angel appears to Hagar and reassures her of the Lord’s blessing to her and through her child Ishmael, which means, “God hears.”  And Hagar responds by giving the Lord the name, ‘The God who sees me.”  And then names the well of this place, ‘Beer Lahai Roi’ which means, ‘well of the Living One who sees me.’  And then, crazy as it is, after Sarah does become miraculously pregnant with Abraham and she gives birth to Isaac, Sarah, now that she has her own family, tells Abraham to send her away.  So they sent Hagar and Ishmael away from them into the desert – really banishing them from the Abraham clan to fend for themselves.  And Hagar, soon is without food and water in the desert.  She places Ishmael under a bush in the shade, wanders off about a bowshot away and says to herself, “I cannot watch the boy die.”  Can’t imagine – and then God shows up, “Don’t be afraid.  God has heard the boy crying.  Lift up the boy, take him by the hand.’  When she opened her eyes, there was a well of water.  Again, God sees and engages. God calls on us to ‘see and engage.’      
 For two weeks we have been challenged by God’s word to consider our anxiety, our worry… our preoccupations… our self focus… or hyper other focus (what others are doing or not doing)… our busyness… could it be, that all of these things are keeping us from seeing our neighbor in need?  And once we actually ‘see’ our neighbor, keeps us from engaging?  
We will tackle two parables on Sunday – The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)and the Sheep and the Goats (Matthew 25:31-46).  Both of them are calls of Christ to ‘see’ the needs of others and respond with generosity.  Looking forward – we will celebrate communion together Sunday!  And enjoy a church-wide fellowship feast after the service.  Bring food to share!  Unto us a Gift of God’s generosity has been given.

Pastor Mark