Zis-N-Zat From Pastor Asher

God is my conscience, Jesus lives in my heart… this blog is about what I see, what I think, what I do and how I serve God

Message Based on Mark 5:21-43 and Hebrews 12:1-2, 22-24, 28; “B”–Pentecost 5

Scriptures used to write this message: Hebrews 12:1-2, 22-24, 28 and Mark 5:21-43

You can read these Scriptures at this link.

 

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Sometimes I wonder whether we make Christianity too much about Jesus and too little about us. Think about it this way: Jesus came to dwell among us and to give us a new understanding of God’s Creation. Jesus showed us a new way of living our lives and inspired us with a new vision. To complete His mission here on Earth, Jesus died on the Cross, was resurrected three days later, ascended to Heaven and sent his Holy Spirit to guide us in our mission of making disciples for the transformation of the world.

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We should always  and in all circumstances give thanks and praise for what Jesus did for us.

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When I say that we make being a Christian too much about Jesus and too little about us, I am saying that at the first Pentecost the responsibility for making the Kingdom of God a reality shifted to you and me. Christianity is about us and what we do to make disciples for Jesus for the transformation of the world. To paraphrase President John F. Kennedy, “ask not what Jesus can do for you; instead ask what you can do for Jesus; ask what you can do to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world in which we live.”

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The Apostle Paul said it this way, “…And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of [our] faith. … he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV2010).

Every generation stands on the shoulders of those who came before them. Every generation builds on the accomplishments of those who came before them. Every person and every generation is defined by the stories we tell ourselves and how we interpret these stories. We become who we think we are. To give an example, instead of being a middle-aged man with a shiny head, a bit of extra “padding” and a great sense of humor, I can think of myself as overweight behemoth unable to run in a Boston marathon. Both definitions are correct. My future life depends on what story I tell myself and which story I believe about myself. Just like that, our future depends on what story we tell ourselves.

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We have a story to share with the world. Sometimes when I need to center my mind on God, I come into our sanctuary and sit and listen. And when I am patient, I can hear the voices of Christians who worshiped in this church before me, I hear them singing hymns, I hear bits and pieces of the sermons preached from this pulpit and I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. Now, Lilly Tomlin said once that when we tell others that we talk to God, they think that we are praying and that we are deeply spiritual. On the other hand, when we tell others that God talks to us, they want to lock us in a loony bin.

Well, when I hear the voices of Christians who worshiped in this church before us, when I hear bits and pieces of hymns, when I hear bits and pieces of the sermons and when I feel the presence of the Holy Spirit, what I really feel is what Paul described as a “great cloud of witnesses” (Hebrew 12:1 NIV2010). One of the voices in the “cloud” is the voice of H. J.

While I personally did not know her well, I can see how much she means to all of you, and how much she influenced your lives for the better. From the stories that I hear about her life, about how she dealt with the tragedy of losing two of her sons, about her zest for life and her loving and caring nature, I have no doubt in my mind that she knew who Jesus is. I also know beyond a shadow of a doubt that H.J.  knew that being a Christian is about how she lived her life.

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She understood that making the Kingdom of God a reality is about us and our involvement in God’s world. Hers was a life well lived; hers was a life that touched many other lives; hers was a life that brought the joy of the Lord and the presence of the Holy into many other lives.

That is what God calls us to do.
   That is how we make disciples.
     
That is how Christianity is about you and me.

{Transition to the Holy Communion}

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