Sermons & Blog

Wilderness

There is a movement in the gospel of Mark which repeats itself at the critical points of the gospel. That movement is from glory into the wilderness. Last Sunday we saw it in the story of the Transfiguration which is found right at the mid-point of the gospel: there is a moment of glory on the mountain top where Jesus becomes a dazzling light and is seen with Moses and Elijah, and the voice of God says “This is my Son, the Beloved.” Then, moments later, Jesus comes down from the mountain, and is immediately plunged into the wilderness of human need and suffering. That movement will be repeated in Holy Week, at the climax of the gospel. On Palm Sunday, Jesus will be paraded into Jerusalem,

Raised to Serve

“Jesus came and took her by the hand and lifted her up; then the fever left her and she began to serve them.” These words, taken from today’s gospel reading, from this little vignette of Jesus and Simon’s mother-in-law, this is what you might call a loaded sentence. If you’re a 21st century feminist, your first reaction might be that this sentence is loaded with assumptions about patriarchy and gender roles. I mean, really, Simon, your mother-in-law has been sick in bed with a fever, and the moment she feels better you expect her to be serving drinks to you and your friends? Sometimes that’s how we react to this sentence, and it gets even worse if we hear church people use scripture verses

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