Today the scriptures tell us that Godâ€™s grace comes freely, as a gift. But is anything really free? Yes, before we were born, before our first exam or job interview, before our first failure, before our first fight or our first loss, Jesus Christ hung on a cross to be sign that Godâ€™s grace is free indeed. In his cross, there is no catch or small print; there is simply the divine love that has been there for us all along. This is the love of a God who made the world and called it good. It is the love of a God who sees us, suffers with us, and binds up all our wounds.
In todayâ€™s gospel from Mark, a man who suffers cries out again and again for mercy as Jesus passes by. Yet his cries are too much for others gathered around, who are annoyed by the man and want him to be quiet. In his cries they hear only hopelessness, pain, and misfortune with no remedy; they hear their own powerlessness. But Jesus hears something different; rather than the problem, pain, misfortune, and human weakness, he hears a person in need, hope, and divine strength. Here is the beginning of healing.
In todayâ€™s gospel from Mark, the picture of Jesusâ€™ power in the gospels is not one of king but of servant Lord. We do not see Jesus seated on a throne, issuing orders, and being served, but as an unassuming man, living among people, listening to their needs, and sharing Godâ€™s healing merch with them. Jesus calls his followers to share in his power and glory by being at his left and right as he stoops to wash feet, as he touches those considered uncle, as he is mocked by worldly powers. This is where true glory and power are found.
In todayâ€™s gospel from Mark, Jesus invites a man to leave behind everything he has known and thought about himself to become Jesusâ€™ disciple. To the world, the mand is defined by his wealth, but Jesus sees the man behind the possessions and loves him. He sees past what seems inevitable about the man, to what God can make possible. Yet, tragically, the man can only see the worldâ€™s vision of him, a vision of limited possibilities. When Jesus calls him to leave his wealth behind, the man thinks he is being asked the impossible and leaves. How will we respond?
In todayâ€™s gospel from Mark, the two episodes may seem disjointed: a challenging, even unsettling passage about divorce is followed by a much-loved image of Jesus telling his disciples to let little children come to him. Yet in both passages, Jesus puts rules and conventions aside to challenge his followersâ€™ hearts to greater openness and vulnerability. How might we become agents of love through Christ?
The first Sunday of Fall was a beautiful morning to praise God. We were blessed with almost 60 folks present.
Our â€œPerfect Pairâ€ project collected 238 cans of fruit for the Loaves & Fishes Pantry during the month. We also received 24 personal care products. Thank You! We are currently collecting bags of candy to give out through the pantry at the end of October.
May your last week of September be a blessing!
Read the Grace Messenger to discover how you can easily be apart of God’s Work – Our Hands on Sunday, September 12th. September Worship Services will be held at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 2315 “I” Street, services begin at 9:30 a.m. Come, let us worship Christ our Lord and Savior, together!
Read the September Messenger to catch up with the current news here: September 2021 Messenger
Grace Lutheran’s calendar can be found here: Calendar September 2021
July brings opportunities each Sunday for all to Worship together at 9:30 a.m. at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 2315 “I” Street. Hope to see you there!
The current news of Grace Lutheran Church can be found here: July 2021 Messenger
Grace Lutheran’s July 2021 Calendar is located here: July 2021 Calendar