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Showing posts from July 15, 2018

Jesus Brings it All Together

This is the reflection on the text I'm preaching on this Sunday. It went out in our weekly e-ministry to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church.
Ephesians 2:11-22

11Remember that at one time you Gentiles by birth, called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a physical circumcision made in the flesh by human hands—12remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. 15He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cro…

Gruesome Gospel cont'd.

This is the message I preached to the people of St. Timothy Lutheran Church. The gospel was Mark 6:14-29. Right before today’s gospel lesson, Jesus’ disciples were sent out to preach, teach and heal. Following today’s gospel, they return telling Jesus of their exploits. What’s in the middle?—a seemingly out of place, gruesome story of Herod’s flashback to the beheading of John the Baptist. This is another Markan sandwich, with a rather unpleasant filling.
Jesus had become known, which we would think is a good thing, however, there are consequences to this. Once the disciples started preaching, knowledge of Jesus increased. Jesus’ followers were not doing works in their own strength or authority, but by the authority given to them by Jesus (v. 7). However, there is fallout from the disciples’ successful campaign. 
A question of Jesus’ identity came up. Herod was spooked and thought Jesus was John raised from the dead, which is odd since they were contemporaries. This was a popular view am…