The Reading from the Epistles: 2 Peter 3:8-15a
The Gospel Reading: Mark 1:1-8
Life these days involves a lot of waiting. We wait in traffic, wait in the doctor's office, wait to board a train or plane; wait on hold on the phone. It's gotten to the point that we expect to wait, so often we're prepared with something to do in the interim. As we wait for Christ’s return, the second Advent, what should we be doing? Today's epistle reading offers us some ideas.
I was thinking the other day about some of the small technological innovations over the years that make waiting more bearable. There are several options from which to choose, but one stands out today in this season of waiting.
The Reading from the Hebrew Scripture: Isaiah 64:1-9
The Gospel Reading: Mark 13:24-37
Can you tell me what these different things have in common? The Hula-hoop, Duncan Butterfly Yo-yo’s, pet rocks, Pogs, Elmo dolls, Fidget Spinners.
Fidget Spinners are the most recent item. You've heard of them, haven't you? They are one of the hottest toys of 2017. Each item on the list has been a fad, especially around Christmas. They have all come and gone with the passing of time. As we enter a new seasonal time this morning, our Advent challenge may be to avoid fads and to build our lives on something more solid than a pet rock or passing theological craze. Fads are not limited to children. Adults are equally susceptible. Let me give an example with two words: pet rocks.
The title of the message, “Blaming the Victim” is the same as the title of a book I read in an undergraduate psychology class years ago. Recent social events and media advertisements called it to mind as I reflected on the gospel verses for today, and Jesus’ vivid description of the differences between sheep and goats.
Curious whether or not it was still in print I looked it up and was surprised to learn that not only is it still in print, but is considered as groundbreaking and relevant today as when I read it in the 1970’s.
This is the basic premise...
I thought a lot about it last week as we made our first trip to gather winter evacuation and survival supplies. The winter of 2015 was enough to convince us of the importance of planning ahead and putting together an evacuation kit as well as having extra water, batteries, matches, stern-o or another source of warmth, cell- phone back-up chargers fully charged; crank and/or solar-powered weather radio Being prepared and planning ahead is nothing new.
True humility elevates serving others over serving primarily oneself.
Have you ever had to "eat humble pie"?
Most of us have heard this expression. It is a phrase meaning "to face humiliation for an error or wrongdoing, something for which we must apologize, often in some public way."