Good Afternoon Everyone,
I hope your day is going well. It’s hard to imagine that we’re just about to head into the month of March! Are any of you doing anything fun for leap year? I know we have at least one birthday in the church today, which I always wondered what it would be like to only have a birthday once every four years. I guess you’d really learn the practice of simplicity and patience! 🙂
As you know tonight is Soup and Bread. We’re hosting conversations on meditation for the next month.
Tomorrow evening is Laundry Love.
And this Sunday, after worship, we are having our community dinner – potato bake. So we have some good things to be involved with this week.
Speaking of Sunday, we’re going to continue to focus our attention on “What is the good news?” and this week’s passage turns on Jesus’ question “Who do you say that I am?” Here is Mark 8:27-37:
“Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah.” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”
He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life?”
For our purposes, see if you can find connections between Jesus’ “wilderness-based resistance” movement that we discussed last Sunday and this text? How does the passage and things we discussed last week form Mark 1 shed light on what is happening here?
What do you think is the real issue here between Peter and Jesus?
Consider this: Christians have often taken the passage “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me,” in fairly spiritual terms, or terms that relate to the “afterlife,” but what other possibilities might there be? Are there clues here within the text (or from last week) that you see?
Finally, considering that Lent is a time of self-examination, limitation, forgiveness and intentionally creating space to listen to Christ what actions does this text lead us into?