Sermons on Mark

Sermons on Mark

Anatomy of a Temptation

Mark 1:9-15 In the Netflix series “Lucifer” the Devil takes a vacation form his job of overseeing Hell to assume human form and have some fun on earth as a glitzy playboy. In the opening scene of the pilot episode, Lucifer is breezing around the brightly lit streets of LA in a flashy sports car–until he is pulled over for speeding by a Highway Patrol Officer. As the officer approaches the car, Lucifer pulls out a wad of cash and…

Group Portraits

Mark 9:2-10 and 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 Precisely one year ago to this day, just shy of a couple of dozen Holy Land pilgrims from this church and a couple of Connecticut congregations, were setting foot on American soil again. Nearly every one of us carried the same souvenir carefully packed away in our luggage. It was a group picture of us all taken in the city of Jerusalem. The panoramic view of Jerusalem in the background lent an unmistakable context…

Mic Drop

Mark 1:21-28 The breaking news coming from the city of Capernaum was that the Jesus train was gathering steam and picking up passengers. In the short space of just the first half of the first chapter of his Gospel, Mark traces Jesus’ meteoric rise from obscurity to celebrity; bbeginning with a ringing endorsement at the Jordan River by his opening act, John the Baptist, to his gathering of followers from among the fisherfolk in Galilee. Even his fiercest critics —…

Schadenfreude

Jonah (selected verses) and Mark 1:14-20 Very few Christians would dispute Jesus’ reputation as a miracle worker; what with a resume of healing sick people, calming storms, and turning water into wine to his credit. I would argue though, that two of his most remarkable miracles are the ones he performed in this morning’s Gospel reading. You might scratch your head and wonder—what miracles? There’s nothing miraculous in this passage, you might say. No blind receiving their sight. No multiplication…

Oath of Office

Genesis 1:1-5 and Mark 1:4-11 Certain positions of public trust carry such solemn responsibility, coupled with such potential for the abuse of authority, that they may only be assumed after first taking of an oath of office. There is an oath of enlistment for members of the Armed Forces, an oath taken by Judges and police, a Hippocratic Oath for doctors, vows taken by ordained clergy, and an oath that comes with the office of President. Most of these oaths…

Matrix

Preached FCCW October 21, 2018 Mark 10:35-45   In the gospel message I just read, we find Jesus and his disciples thinking and speaking in cross purposes, so that Jesus has to clarify some of the language they are using to get them all on the same page. He redefines for them words like greatness and glory, service and sacrifice. And the meaning of Baptism. One of the first things they teach you in seminary is that, when it comes…

Stumbling Blocks and Millstones

Preached FCCW October 14, 2018 Mark 9:38-50     In 2003, Aron Lee Ralston became famous for surviving an ordeal that can best be described as most people’s worst nightmare. While hiking by himself in southeastern Utah, Ralston literally became caught between a rock and a hard place when a dislodged boulder pinned his hand against the wall of a narrow canyon. Isolated and alone for six days, faced with the certainty of his own dying there, he realized that…

Beyond the Steady Edge of Your Life

Preached FCCW, September 30, 2018 Mark 10:17-31   I don’t know how many times I’ve heard my wife Sue, instruct her yoga classes to find the “steady edge of their stretch,” when getting into a yoga pose. But, I do know that the “edge” she wants us to find, is the threshold of sensation each person encounters as we stretch the muscles, tendons and joints of our bodies to the edge of what they’ve been accustomed to. You might say…

The Greatest

Preached FCCW, September 23, 2018 Mark 9:30-37 and James   Many people have been recognized by the world for their greatness. Occasionally, someone comes along and claims to be The Greatest at whatever it is that they do. Muhammad Ali proclaimed himself to be The Greatest boxer. Kanye West declared himself to be the Greatest rockstar on the planet. John Lennon once commented that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. Ironically, one person who never self-proclaimed himself to be…

Who Do You Say He Is?

Preached FCCW, September 16, 2018 Mark 8:27-38   Does anyone watch the game show, “Family Feud”? If you do, then you know that the questions put to the contestants are first asked of a studio audience. The object of the game is to try and guess what the audience responses were. Success in the game depends not on original thinking, but in thinking like the crowd. After the contestants give their answers, Steve Harvey turns to the board and with…

Kryptonite

Preached FCCW July 8, 2018 Mark 6:1-13   Jesus came to his hometown of Nazareth. And he could do no deed of power there, except he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.   Let that statement sink in for a moment.   Curing even a few sick people by laying hands on them would rate as pretty impressive for most people. But Jesus wasn’t most people.   Up to this point in Mark’s Gospel, Jesus…

Proclaiming Ourselves

Preached FCCW, June 3, 2018 2 Corinthians 4:5-12 and Mark 2:23-3:6   Whenever we gather at the table of Communion, as we do this morning, we pause to be reminded of a few things. You could say that this is when we “set the table” for the meal we are about to share together. We begin with an acknowledgement of whose table it is. It is not ours. It is the table of our Lord. Next, we are reminded of…

The Rest of the Story

Preached April 1, (Easter Sunday) 2018 Mark 16:1-8 In the British comedy film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are on a quest to locate a sacred relic, the Holy Grail, the cup that Jesus used at the Last Supper. Their mission brings them to an underground cave where they discover mysterious words in Aramaic carved into the cavern wall. A monk is summoned to translate the writing in hopes that…

The Herald of Peace

Preached FCCW, Palm Sunday 201825 Mark 15:16-32 The title of this sermon comes from a very old Epic tale from Estonia. It tells of an Estonian king who wanted to wage war on Finland. Which might have just made everyone here of Finnish descent sit up a little straighter. The King sent his four sons out to the corners of Estonia to gather an army for the invasion.

Zebra Stripes

Preached FCCW, February 18, 2018 (Lent 1B) Mark 1:9-15   Jesus did many things that we, his followers and disciples will never do. Walking on water, bringing the dead back to life and turning water into wine are a few that spring quickly to mind. But, I can just as easily name two things Jesus did that most, if not all people in this sanctuary today also have done. And, they are both found in the passage from Mark’s Gospel…

Listen Up

Preached FCCW February 11, 2018 Mark 9:2-9   Two men were having a conversation one day. One of them said, “My wife talks to herself a lot.” His friend answered, “Mine does, too. But she doesn’t know it. She thinks I’m listening.” When you eavesdrop on conversations Jesus had with his disciples, you have to wonder if sometimes he must have felt like he was talking to himself. They just never seemed to be really listening to him, especially when…

More Than Words

Mark 1:21-28 Preached FCCW January 28, 2018   The breaking news coming from the city of Capernaum was that the Jesus train was gathering steam and picking up passengers. In the short space of just the first half of the opening chapter of his Gospel, Mark traces Jesus’ rise to recognition from an opening endorsement by John the Baptist at the Jordan River, to a grass roots movement of gathering disciples in Galilee, to his breakout preaching engagement in Capernaum.

Net Work

Preached FCCW, January 21, 2018 Text Mark 1:14-20 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near;repent, and believe in the good news.” As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen.

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town

Luke 1:5-7 and Mark 1:1-8 Preached FCCW, December 3, 2017 Friday morning, while posting the daily UCC Devotional to the Church Facebook page, a post in my news feed from the Westminster Police Department caught my eye. It wasn’t the usual warning about telephone scammers, an Amber Alert or even a traffic advisory. This post announced that Santa Claus is coming to town. That’s right! He’s coming here to Westminster! The announcement listed the times and places where he would…

Two Beggars

 Mark 10:46-52 and Job 42:1-6, 10-17
  • 1
  • 2