Words for the Week – September 20, 2018

Have you ever lost some self-esteem by comparing yourself to other people?  In the gospel this week, the disciples argue about who is the greatest.  Jesus responds to their argument by showing them a child.  Think of all the ways Jesus could have responded…what is he trying to teach them here?

Jesus isn’t concerned about greatness, at least not in the ways we are taught to measure it.  Jesus doesn’t play the comparison game. No one is greater than any other.  Jesus tells us to get out of the game.  Instead, focus on the well-being of children.  Welcome people who are overlooked.  Serve others.  If you do this, you will have a different kind of greatness. 

This is great news for anyone who has ever wondered about their own worth. God loves you the way a child can be loved simply for existing! It’s also good news for all the children who, if we are truly shaped by this teaching of Jesus, will find welcome, protection, and safety in the arms of Jesus’ followers. 

Last week, I preached about the gulf between who we think God should be and how God actually works. When God doesn’t show up with the kind of power we want, it can lead to despair.  Anyone who has unanswered prayers knows what I’m talking about.  The good news of Jesus often comes as a surprise because our expectations of God are so misguided. What a joy to find that Jesus’ love reaches out over the abyss and saves us even from despair.

Listen to the sermon here.

A note about the sanctuary: if you are allergic to mold, be aware that we’re dealing with a mold problem on the sanctuary side.  We are getting it under control and deep cleaning, but this weekend it still might be bad.  The Fellowship Hall /education wing is perfectly fine.  Apologies if it hinders your worship!

Be at Peace,
Pastor Sarah