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Weeds and Nerf darts

Ministry, Wife and Mom life… bring it on.

Month

January 2018

Authority

4th Sunday after Epiphany Mark 1:21-28

This week’s lectionary gospel begins with Jesus teaching in the synagogue. Scribes often taught in the synagogue, but scribes had to receive their authority from following the law. Jesus teaches with authority not given to him by the law. His authority is a divine authority and the people around him are beginning to realize it.

They wonder how he has this authority, and why he does what he does. And then someone comes along to prove Jesus’ authority. A man with an unclean spirit approaches Jesus and the demon engages the divine. The demon even knows that Jesus is the Son of God, and says so in front of everyone.

“I know who you are, you are the Holy one from God”

We forget sometimes, that there was a time Jesus walked this earth, and people didn’t know who he was. We know the end of the story, but contemporaries of Jesus did not.

Jesus didn’t have any earthly authority. He wasn’t a political figure, or a military force that was going to save his people. But he did have divine authority. He had authority to teach the will of God to his people, and to cast out demons. He has the authority to calm the storms, to perform miracles, and to heal the sick. His was an authority of service.

Do our leaders serve? Do those around us, politicians, teachers, pastors, law enforcement, judges, even parents… do any of us with authority over others remember that despite Jesus’ divine authority, he lived a life of service to others?

We don’t have the same authority as Jesus, as we are human as we are full of flaws and prone to sin. But we are capable of recognizing that Jesus’ authority to forgive sins extends to us. That our sins are forgiven and we are free to live a life of service to others because we have a savior who showed us the way.

Fishing For People

3rd Sunday After Epiphany Mark 1:14-20

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people” -Mark 1:17

This week has been rough. My very dear friend passed away on Saturday after her battle with cancer. I met Lauren when I moved to Covington TN in 2013 for my placement at a church where I would serve as the youth minister while in seminary. Lauren was in the next town south of me and was so excited to have another female youth minister and seminarian that she showed up the very first day to help me move my furniture. From that point on we were together.

We got mistaken for sisters a lot, which was fun for us two only children. We shared a love of Mexican food, Chacos, coffee and youth ministry. The closest Starbucks was 25 minutes away from my house, and Lauren was conveniently on the way, so once, or twice, or many times a week I would pick her up and we would ride down to properly caffeinate ourselves before beginning our day. Even though both of us would “pre-game” (her term) with our own coffee at home.

We took joint mission trips with our youth groups, had combined youth group once a month, and generally shared a love of ministry together that was unparalleled. She would joke that we should go work for a church together where I could be in charge of games and lessons and she could do what she loved, be the master organizer of all things.

So what does this have to do with fishing for people? There was no better fisher in the world. Lauren reached into your soul and pulled you into her world, which was full of a deep love for Jesus. When she got her hook in you she didn’t let go, and you never wanted her to. My boys called her “aunt Lauren” as did many other kids in her sphere of influence.

She cast a wide net in her youth ministry, and her kids loved her fiercely. She caught sports stars, singers, instrumentalists, and kids who might have never felt at home anywhere, but they had a home with Lauren.

What I learned from Lauren would fill volumes, but for now, I’ll just say, go fishing. Catch people and tell them about the love of Jesus, maybe you go to church together, or maybe you just go out for tacos. Either way, be like Lauren, reel ’em in and never let go.

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Aunt Lauren and AJ at Build a Bear for his 11th birthday.

Come and See

2nd Sunday After Epiphany

John 1:43-51

 

“Follow me.”

These are the all too familiar words Jesus speaks to Philip, a man of the same town as Andrew and Peter. I love when these two words come up in scripture, because they are always followed by… well… following. The author simply moves on with the story with the new disciples following their teacher.

Wait. What?

They just follow. There’s no inner turmoil over leaving family, or obligations, or various fishing equipment, just following. In the case of Philip here in the Gospel of John, he runs to get Nathanael as well. He tells Nathanael they have found the one of whom Moses wrote, Joseph’s boy from Nazareth.

Continue reading “Come and See”

All Shook Up

Lectionary for the Baptism of the Lord- Psalm 29

Psalm 29:8

“The Voice of the Lord shakes the desert, the lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh.”

Sometimes I wish I could hear God’s voice. A real audible voice that would just tell me what to do. Then I remember that I’m pretty stubborn and I’d probably just argue with the voice and sometimes, perhaps, put my fingers in my ear and just turn away, like the petulant child I’ve been known to be.

Then I read Psalm 29 and I think about the voice of the Lord. The psalmist tells us its “powerful, majestic, breaks the cedars of Lebanon, strikes with flashes of lightening, shakes the desert, and twists the oaks, and strips the forests bare.”

Continue reading “All Shook Up”

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