It takes courage to be honest, especially when admitting weakness or insufficiency. You’d only be that honest with someone you trust. Welcome to the presence of One you can trust. The Lord God promises to meet you through the gospel, the message of what Jesus has done for you. As you receive that message today, may God convince you to trust him. We call that spiritual sight and pray the Lord blesses you with a rich measure of it today.
Have you ever been asked a tough question? I'm not talking about the daily tough decision of what to have for dinner or the occasional question of, “Where should we go out to eat?” I'm talking about a simple yet deeply probing question that forces you to examine your perspective on life. Today, Jesus asks a few of these questions designed to focus our hearts and lives on his true identity.
How do you complete this sentence: The more things change, the more…”? We all know what we want to say, but there is a contrary view. The more things change, the more things change! Wise King Solomon said by inspiration of the Spirit, "to everything there is a season." God's plan is to keep you close to him by feeding your faith every season. So that's what we do at St. Andrew. We feed and nurture Christian faith with his Word and sacrament whether you're a child or long in the tooth. We’re glad you’re with us today. Learn five stages of life, determine which stage(s) you're in, and plan how you'll feed your faith no matter what season you're in.
Today’s Bible account may seem like déjà vu. Many would assume that because there are two similar accounts of a miracle of Jesus in the Scriptures, they must be the same event just with different details. This is possible, but more likely Jesus did a similar miracle for a similar reason in a different location. Mark's Gospel is all about showing us Jesus as the Christ, our Savior. Today we see Jesus provide food yet again, but he will also explain that faith isn't about the miracles, it's about his identity as our Savior.
If you've watched children eat, you know it's an adventure. Food ends up in many places besides their mouths. If there's a puppy in the house, it knows where to sit. What we view as crumbs and scraps are treasures for a pup. In Mark 7:24-30 Jesus met a woman who viewed any gift from God the same way. His crumbs were more than she deserved and beyond anything the world could give. So, she positioned herself next to Jesus to receive them. That’s why we’re here today. Jesus distributes coveted morsels through the gospel in the Word and in the sacrament. We’re glad you’ve gathered with us to receive them.
Jesus disagreed with the religious leaders of his day about many things including how to be cleansed of sin and how he would provide that cleansing. But Jesus agreed with the religious leaders on one thing: we all need cleansing. Oddly, that's the thing about which we're most likely to disagree with Jesus. We look for things on the outside that can change our hearts, lives, and world. Jesus, however, works from the inside out. It's a key theme in the Old and New Testament, and it's as relevant as today. We’re glad you’re in God’s house with us today. May the Spirit fill you with gratitude for the cleansing only Jesus can accomplish.
When it comes to what you believe and how you make decisions, are you more inclined to listen to your head, your heart, or the experts? Jesus' answer was something else. Today, discover the basis of Jesus' way of thinking, his emotions, and his actions. It might change what you listen to. This is what we do each week: open the Bible and let God speak to us through it. He does the rest. We’re glad you’re here and hope we can serve you in the future, too. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have you ever experienced emotional and physical exhaustion? Have you been pushed to the brink, overwhelmed with stress, questioning so much of your life, and wondering if the struggle is worth it? This weekend we see the disciples emotionally and physically exhausted as they're at the end of a long day and stuck in the middle of the Sea of Galilee surrounded by strong winds. There amid the struggle, Jesus walks up bringing peace and rescue as only he can provide. Who do you know that could use this encouragement? Be sure to share today's message with them via iTunes or our website.
What is it about the Word of God or the promises of Jesus that you doubt? It’s okay to admit it. You have doubts. We all do. Today, the Spirit teaches us through Mark’s record of Jesus’ life how to handle them in a way that leads to triumph and victory. When God comes to us in his Word and in his sacrament great things happen…not the least of which is doubt is diminished. And that’s why we’re glad you’re here.
Everyone likes some things about Jesus. Who isn't in favor of grace, forgiveness, and love? But Jesus also claimed he is the only way to life with God; the Lord and Savior of the world. Not everyone is in favor of that. How about you? We’re glad you’re here today. Jesus wants everyone to know the ultimate rejection he experienced and the ultimate acceptance we have because of it. May the Spirit bless your worship.
Have you noticed that God’s grace almost never works on your timetable? Today, Jesus' delay in responding to a man's' request teaches us valuable lessons about God's timing. We’re glad you’re here to witness with us Jesus' power and his love. May the Spirit build up your trust in him...even when he delays.
It is hard to always put into words the feeling of watching the world go by while your life is consumed by some medical ailment or significant life event. Amid it all there can be the feeling of being forgotten. The feeling of being forgotten by friends and family as their lives seem to move on while you are still in the pain. Then comes the sinking feeling in the midst of long suffering that perhaps even God has forgotten you. This weekend we see Jesus pause amid a crowd to minister to one who felt forgotten by society but trusted in her Savior.
“Dear Jesus, how can I…” Have you started a prayer like that and gone on to describe some sin or evil you’re trying to overcome? You’re not alone. You’re sitting among people who’ve prayed the same thing. Christian bloggers and scholars have written countless words to describe the problem of evil in our world and in our lives. Today, find your answer in Jesus’ words. We’re glad you’re with us. As you encounter Jesus today, may the Spirit bless you with an answer to your prayer.
A Lenten devotion by Pastor Kelly Huet