Money is almost always a topic of conversation that will reveal some challenging differences between people. Just try bringing up taxes, budgets, or the economy during your next family gathering. Jesus wasn’t afraid to bring up the subject. By some counts he referenced money more than he did heaven and hell combined. Why? In today’s section of Mark’s Gospel, it’s because he loved the man he was talking to. That’s why he talks to you, too, about anything in his Word. We’re glad you’re here to listen to Jesus’ words of love. May you see his love all the more clearly as you learn the challenging differences between him and you.
I love Thanksgiving worship. Maybe it's because although everyone is thankful, we Christians don't just feel a sentiment of gratitude. We privately and very publicly thank the God who has blessed us with everything we need for this life and the next. Jesus really is always enough.
It is perhaps one of our favorite images of Jesus—children sitting on his lap while he talks with them and shows them a father's love. There, at that moment, the God of the universe pauses his critical work to be present with babies and toddlers. He makes time to be with them and to bless them. He then uses them to teach us a powerful lesson on faith. This weekend we see Jesus with the little children and learn the importance of having a childlike faith.
The Bible says we are heading for a grand wedding: the day Jesus returns for his bride the Church. Until then Jesus gets ready, keeps us ready, and makes our lives a testimony to our confidence in that future day. That means your marriage, your future marriage and the marriages of other Christians is a picture of our marriage to Jesus. Married or not, we all want our lives to show the world what we’re waiting for: the ultimate wedding. Welcome to St. Andrew; we’re all about the message of Jesus that gets us to that grand wedding day.
Images like the one above are troubling, living here in Wisconsin. It is an image that says something terrible is likely about to happen. Following the tornados and floods in August, a picture like this can bring up fears. Fears that more destruction may come. For some it isn't a physical storm that arouses the fear, it is the tone of someone's voice, reception of a bill you know you can't pay, the sinking feeling you get when you feel you are drowning at work or failing as a parent or spouse. Today we hear God speak words of comfort, strength, and hope to our wearied heart.