This is my written text for my sermon on February 14th. The text is Mark 10:17-31. I have included my Small Talk (Children's Message) which is done before the lesson is read because it feeds into my message. - Pbc
In the lesson we are going to read, Jesus talks about how hard it is to get into heaven. He says It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.
Look at what I have here.
OK, it’s not a camel. It’s a Beanie Baby horse, and here is a needle with thread. Now, my horse isn’t quite as big as a camel, but do you think it can get through the eye of the needle?
Jesus talked about someone who was rich. In his time, they thought anyone who was rich or wealthy or who had a lot of money or other stuff, that person must be blessed by God. They believed that having a lot of things meant God really loved you.
The people Jesus was talking to were confused because if someone who they thought was blessed by God wouldn’t be able to get into heaven, then no one could.
They said, "Then who can be saved?" Jesus looked at them & said, "For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible."
That is the point of the lesson we are going to hear. Everything is possible for God, and we should trust God for everything.
Let me say that again in case some of them weren’t listening: The whole point of this lesson is to trust God for everything.
This week, think of ways that you can trust God, especially in things you are scared about.
Before we go back to our places, let’s bow our heads in prayer.
Since I told you in my small talk what is the point of this lesson, it all makes sense, right?
The man who ran up to Jesus, asking what he had to do to inherit eternal life was told to sell everything he had (and he had many things) and give everything to the poor. But he couldn’t do that and put his trust in God, so he went home, sad.
The disciples were upset because they didn’t realize that they had done what Jesus was telling the young man to do. When Jesus told them, “Follow me,” they did. Peter and Andrew, James and John left their fishing boats and their nets when Jesus called. Levi left the tax collectors booth when Jesus called, and followed him. They left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news.
Because the common wisdom of the time was that those who were wealthy were blessed by God, when Jesus said a camel could more easily get into heaven than someone who is rich, they thought they had no chance. They hadn’t earned God’s favor. But they had. They put their trust in God.
The young man didn’t realize he answered his own question, what must I do to inherit eternal life?
To inherit something, someone must die. Someone must give up their lives. For us to inherit eternal life, (to quote from John’s Gospel) God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
But Christ calls upon those who would follow him to follow in his footsteps, laying down their current life to go and serve others. Don’t worry about what is to come, but to trust in God.
Mark’s Gospel is the shortest, most condensed Gospel. Many scholars believe it was written so it could be read aloud in one setting. That way, you would recall something you heard a few minutes ago, and it would shape what you are hearing.
For us, what it means to be the Messiah, and what it means to be a follower of that Messiah has been being laid out for us in the lessons we’ve heard since Christmas.
Come when you are called. Follow and leave everything behind.
Some things grow, some things don’t, and the tiny bush can be great. Trust that God will work it all out; just be ready to go to work.
Trust that God will provide. (That’s why the Apostles went out without bags, food or money.)
Nothing is impossible for God. (Jesus raised the girl from the dead.)
Those who would follow the Messiah must take up their own cross, and the burdens that come with it.
Those who want to be the greatest must be the servants of all.
He is God’s Beloved Son. Listen to him.
The Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is that he did not come to Earth to be worshiped. We worship Him because as the Son of God, he is indeed worthy of worship and praise. Jesus came to Earth to create followers; people who would do what he did, and help those whom helped. He came looking for people who were willing to live out the words of the hymn we will sing in a minute.
Take my life and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee. Take my moments and my days; let them flow in endless praise. Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of thy love. Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee. Take my love; my Lord, I pour at thy feet its treasure store. Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for thee.
Let the Lord take your life. Amen.
The hymn "Take My Life" was written by Frances Havergal.
Pastor Brian's Page
Pastor Brian Robert Campbell has served at Our Savior's and Emmanuel since August 1, 2011, and began serving Nazareth on December 1, 2015.
Pastor Brian is originally from Saginaw, Michigan. He graduated from Alma College with a B.A. in Business Administration, and worked for the Saginaw Public Schools' Community Education Department for 17 years before answering the call to ministry. He graduated with a M. Div. from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2011. ONE in Christ Lutheran Parish is his first call.
He is the only child of Robert and Charlotte Campbell, both who have entered the Church Eternal.
He is accompanied in ministry by his faithful bulldogge Ananias, who regularly writes for our newsletter. His articles are archived here.
He is a fan of sports teams from his native Michigan, especially the Tigers and the Lions. But we tolerate him despite that.
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