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  • Writer's pictureRev. Kim Taylor

Pastor's Ponderings: Meandering through Mark 10:41-45 bible study (June 17, 2024)

June 17, 2024:  Monday Bible Study on the Gospel of Mark 10:41-45

Good morning and may Christ's Love for you bring you hope and strong faith from now on and forever.

In case you were not at church this past Sunday, I am going to give you a brief update of the bishop’s election at the Synod Assembly on Friday. The first ballot for the election for bishop required a 75% majority of legal ballots cast to be elected. (201 was the count needed for election.) The first ballot was announced just before the noon break. Bishop Deborah Hutterer was elected on the first ballot by a vote of 201! The assembly erupted in affirmation for her ministry. I must admit it was a very exciting experience. Please continue to remember in your prayers Kandice Kartchner and her wife Lisa, as well as Alexis who is with them and is working hard to support the financial needs of this family group. Prayers too for Jeff Hovelson, who is also suffering with cancer. His current regimen of treatment has reduced his tumors by 30% during these past six months. Please also keep me and Steve in your prayers as we are afflicted with prostate cancer. I thank God for your prayer support every day!

In our reading from Mark 10:41-45 we find ourselves in the midst of quite a difficult time for the disciples. James and John have clearly requested a position of authority and power over all of them after Jesus meets His demise in Jerusalem. This could be the act that breaks this group of disciples apart after Christ's death, and we shouldn't be surprised that this kind of thing would come up, but in His teaching, Jesus has an answer for them.  Once again, he tells the disciples a Truth that they must own if they really plan to make it after Jesus is gone. It is clear that they still understand the Messiah as that powerful mighty king of the Jews who will reign over them with earthly power and authority. But Jesus once again makes it clear that there is only true power in being the suffering servant who gives all He is to the world. A truly great leader must be humble of heart and look to how others may be cared for through sacrifice. That is certainly not what James and John were looking for. Greatness only comes through love and sacrifice and service to others. And greatness can only come with this very humble service. Many people who look at Jesus from outside of a relationship of the heart and head, see only the waste of such great power, but for you and me, as the faithful few, this power of love and sacrifice makes Jesus the greatest we will ever know and experience.  In our nation today one of the issues is that people, and some of them are a part of the Church of Christ, yet they are looking for the same thing that James and John were, Power through wealth and authority through turning our democracy into a theocracy, that is a nation governed by the religious right.  (conservatives and orthodox) These Christian Nationalists think and act just like James and John. But unlike James and John who have asked for more than is their due, the conservative church is hungry to continue this drive for all that power and authority might bring to them. The great question here is, "How can we do what Jesus suggests as the Truth of God for our lives of service with humility?"  It starts by listening to the Word, and hearing the words of love that Christ brings for the humility that we turn to in order to serve others. The whole Church suffers because of the greed and hunger for power over others that the Christian Nationalist are really looking for. The greatest weapon for authentic Christians is love. You really cannot love someone without being humble before them and on their behalf, showing Christ's Love for them through our words and actions too. Who do you want as your pastor, the pastoral model of authority by ruling even over the church council like only the pastor's word is any good, or do you want the pastor who shows by his or her gentle love through sacrifice and compassion that you are more important than they are?  If we really understand this relationship with Jesus, we must know that we come to Christ by the power of His compassionate will, and the gift of the Spirit, who has called us to accept and believe in the Savior. He is the servant of all people. Who is the car mechanic that you choose to let work on your car? Is it the bully in the car shop who acts like you are witless and takes advantage of you or is it the person who acts with compassion and is willing to go the extra mile? I use a certain shop because one day the lower rubber faring pulled off my bumper on the little Ford we drive. I pulled into the shop and the owner came out crawled under the front of the car, and hooked it back up, and did a temporary repair so I could still drive the car. Oh yes, his half hour of work to do this was free of charge! There is no doubt that this is my mechanic, and, indeed, we have Melody's car there today for some work. I trust this shop because of their willing hearts to serve others. We really do need to remember that the humble service of Jesus Christ is our model for our lives. Thank you for joining in this study this morning. We need to be the church who serves all people.

With Love in Christ, Pastor Kim

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