“Binding the Strong Man, Plundering His House” (Mark 3:20-35)

Second Sunday after Pentecost
June 6, 2021

“Binding the Strong Man, Plundering His House” (Mark 3:20-35)

When you were baptized, what did you get? Yeah, you got wet, sure. You had water poured on your head. But I mean, when you were baptized, what did you get, in the sense of what did you acquire? I’ll tell you what you acquired: You got an enemy for life. Did you know that? That when you were baptized, you gained a strong and powerful enemy who’s out to get you! You did! And his name is Satan, the devil. He is the “old evil foe” who “now means deadly woe.” He is your arch-enemy. He wants to destroy your faith, destroy you, and take you down to hell with him. And he is very strong.

Satan. The devil. We minimize his threat at our peril. But the Bible certainly does not. And Jesus does not dismiss the reality of Satan and the damage that he does to people. Jesus compares Satan to a “strong man” who has a bunch of goods stored in his house that he doesn’t want to let go of. Satan is strong; he’s hard to overcome. But the good news is that there is someone stronger, someone able to overcome the strong man. And his name is Jesus. For Jesus came “Binding the Strong Man, Plundering His House.”

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Published in: on June 5, 2021 at 12:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Who Will Roll Away the Stone for Us?” (Mark 16:1-8)

The Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Day
Sunday, April 4, 2021

“Who Will Roll Away the Stone for Us?” (Mark 16:1-8)

Alleluia! Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!)

That is our joyful shout on this glorious Easter morning. But that was certainly not the thought of the women on the first Easter morning, as they were heading out to the tomb. No, what they were thinking was this: “Who Will Roll Away the Stone for Us?”

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Published in: on April 3, 2021 at 7:44 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“‘Follow Me’: The Crown of Discipleship” (Mark 10:17-22)

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, March 24, 2021

“‘Follow Me’: The Crown of Discipleship” (Mark 10:17-22)

Today we conclude our series on the “Follow Me” sayings of Jesus in Gospel of Mark. Last week we took up “The Cross of Discipleship.” Today our theme is “The Crown of Discipleship.” And that’s a good order to go, because there is no crown without the cross, and there is no cross we endure that will not be far outweighed by the crown we will receive. And both the cross and the crown come as we follow Jesus.

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Published in: on March 24, 2021 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Great Servant” (Mark 10:35-45)

Fifth Sunday in Lent
March 21, 2021

“Great Servant” (Mark 10:35-45)

Are you familiar with what an oxymoron is? An oxymoron is when you put two words together that seem to contradict each other. The two ideas don’t belong together. The classic example is “jumbo shrimp.” Another would be “plastic silverware.” Or “civil war.” Well, today in our text we have two concepts put together that don’t seem to fit. It’s the idea of being “great,” placed side by side with the idea of being a “servant.” Those two thoughts would seem to cancel each other out. But not the way Jesus tells it. And not the way Jesus demonstrates it. For he is the ultimate “Great Servant.”

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Published in: on March 20, 2021 at 11:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“‘Follow Me’: The Cross of Discipleship” (Mark 8:34-35)

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

“‘Follow Me’: The Cross of Discipleship” (Mark 8:34-35)

“Take up your cross and follow me.” Today in our series on discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, we take up the cross. We take it up, not just as a topic for a sermon, but we take it up as a way of life. Because in our text, Jesus tells us what being his disciple will be like: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” And so our theme today, “‘Follow Me’: The Cross of Discipleship.”

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Published in: on March 17, 2021 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“‘Follow Me’: The Candidates for Discipleship” (Mark 2:13-17)

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, March 10, 2021

“‘Follow Me’: The Candidates for Discipleship” (Mark 2:13-17)

We just came out of an election year, in which we had to make choices among all sorts of various candidates. There were many candidates running for many different offices, at local, state, and federal levels. And in the campaign ads, each candidate would tout his or her qualifications for the position they were seeking. Because a candidate for office ought to have certain qualifications.

But how does that work when we’re dealing with qualifications for being disciples of Jesus? What qualifications do candidates for discipleship need–what do you need–in order to follow Jesus and learn from him? Well, there’s one essential qualification you must have, and today we’ll find out what it is.

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Published in: on March 10, 2021 at 10:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“‘Follow Me’: The Call to Discipleship” (Mark 1:14-20)

Midweek Lenten Service
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

“‘Follow Me’: The Call to Discipleship” (Mark 1:14-20)

Today we begin a series of four messages based on the four “Follow me” sayings of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark. “Follow me”: In saying those words, Jesus was calling people back then to be his disciples. “Follow me”: Jesus is still saying those words to us today. He is calling us to be his disciples. So hear him now, as Jesus says to each one of us: “Follow Me.”

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Published in: on February 24, 2021 at 10:44 pm  Comments (1)  
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“In the Wilderness” (Mark 1:9-15)

First Sunday in Lent
February 21, 2021

“In the Wilderness” (Mark 1:9-15)

Today is the First Sunday in Lent, and every year on this Sunday the Holy Gospel is an account of Christ’s temptation in the wilderness. This year the reading comes from Mark’s gospel. It’s the shortest, and the most compact and condensed, of the three accounts, but still it has much to speak to us today. So now let’s join our Lord “In the Wilderness.”

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Published in: on February 20, 2021 at 4:58 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Repent and Believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:1-20)

Ash Wednesday
February 17, 2021

“Repent and Believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:1-20)

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first of the forty days of Lent. And while we’re not able to meet in person today, due to adverse travel conditions, we still are able to meet here, online, to meditate on God’s Word. And we’re thankful for that.

One thing we’re encouraging our people to do this year for our Lenten devotion is to “Read Mark.” That is, we have recommended a schedule for reading through the Gospel of Mark over the forty days of Lent. The readings average only about seventeen verses a day, so that’s very manageable. We’ve included the reading plan as a bulletin insert the last couple of Sundays, I’ve posted the schedule on my Facebook page, and I’ve sent it out to our members for whom I have email addresses. If you would like a copy of the “Read Mark” devotional plan, let me know, with your email address, and I can email it to you.

The first reading today, to begin our readthrough of this gospel, is from Mark chapter 1, the first twenty verses. And not only does it get us started in Mark, it also works to get us going in Lent. For Lent is a penitential season, a season of repentance, as we hear now in the words of our Savior, “Repent and Believe in the Gospel.”

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Published in: on February 17, 2021 at 8:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Christ’s Transfiguration and Our Hope of Glory” (Mark 9:2-9)

The Transfiguration of Our Lord
Sunday, February 14, 2021

“Christ’s Transfiguration and Our Hope of Glory” (Mark 9:2-9)

O wondrous type! O vision fair
Of glory that the Church may share,
Which Christ upon the mountain shows,
Where brighter than the sun He glows!

So we just sang, and so we will now hear, under the theme, “Christ’s Transfiguration and Our Hope of Glory.”

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Published in: on February 13, 2021 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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