Beyond Goodness to Discipleship

Beyond Goodness to Discipleship

Sermon Introduction

Testify and Serve.  Using your unique gifts, in the name of Jesus. The temptation is to wait for those really gifted people to do the serving—the pastors, the church leaders… Nothing could be more important now for all our members to take up their gifts in service.  We are also called to testify. To be the church, we must serve in His name.

Introduction to our readings

Today’s gospel starts with disciples obsessing over who will be closest to Jesus, leading to Jesus teaching his followers about God’s take on importance and power.  Here Jesus makes it explicit that the reversal of values in God’s community is a direct challenge to the values of the dominant culture, where wielding power over others is what makes you great.  When we pray “your kingdom come” we are praying for an end to tyranny and oppression.  We pray this gathered around the cross, a sign of great shame transformed to be the sign of great honor and service.

Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9

This epistle was written to encourage Christians experiencing hardships and suffering because of their faith in Christ.  The letter opens by blessing God for the living hope we have through Christ’s resurrection even in the midst of difficult circumstances and surroundings.

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Gospel Reading: Mark 10:35-45

On the way to Jerusalem the disciples ask Jesus to grant them seats of honor.  Jesus responds by announcing that he and his followers will “rule” through self-giving service.

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