Lectionary (Year B): Sixth Sunday after Epiphany: 2 Kings 5:1-14; Psalm 30; 1 Corinthians 9:24-27; Mark 1:40-45
Theme: Enduring in our Mission
Message: “Our Mission’s A Moving Target!”
Our mission focus causes us to contemplate Paul’s comparison of our “calling” to that of a seasoned athlete who exercise(s) self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable one.
(I Cor. 9:25)
We must endure in our mission in an ever-changing personal life and cultural context to be faithful to the Lord in the mission to which He calls us as disciples.
“No athlete ever considers himself or herself to have “arrived”; winners always keep on training, always keeping in shape, always looking forward to the next contest or event. That’s the challenge that Paul gives us: to exercise self-control constantly (v. 25) and to take even painful steps of self-denial in order to be ready to meet the challenge of effective Christian living (v. 27). (Leroy Koopman)*
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“There are two tragedies in life: one is to not to get your heart’s desire, and the other is to get it.” (Man and Superman),George Bernard Shaw
“I think now that God has set us free to be responsible to make our own choices and to pay the costs for them, with our eyes wide open and our feet on the ground, and that God goes with us, goes before us, and he meets us at every corner…at every turning and corner, God is there with us as the images break within us, helping us to put back the pieces, but now in a new shape and a new pattern.” Robert Raines, Success is a Moving Target
Film, other visual arts
- The Mission
- Chariots of Fire
- Remember the Titans
At the same time that Brigham Young and his flock made their trek across the American continent on the way to Salt Lake, another group of Dutch Christians left their homeland to sail to a wilderness in Western Michigan to establish what has become a prosperous city named Holland. On the gravestone of the founder, Albertus Van Raalte, are these words of spiritual direction: “Beloved, who follow us in this inheritance. We give it over to you with joy. But do not forget we receive it from God as a training school for eternity; a work place for God’s Kingdom.” (Italics mine, BGL)
- “Everything I Do”
- “O God, Our Help in Ages Past, Our Hope for Years to Come”
- “Lord, Speak to Me That I May Speak”
Fill our worship with grace, Lord Jesus Christ, that every thought, word, and deed may be acceptable to you, our Rock and our Redeemer. Amen*
“We come before you today as people who are living in a busy world, a world of troubles and challenges, a world of problems and difficulties, a world that often gives us distress.
We pray for ourselves and others who may be experiencing distress over personal relationships—of tensions with others in the family, of worries over children and grandchildren, of conflicts at work or school.
We pray for ourselves and others who deal with distress in finances—of present or potential unemployment, of homes about to be foreclosed, of credit card debt that is out of control.
We pray for ourselves and others who deal with distress over health issues—of worrisome diagnosis, of chronic pain, of old age, or ongoing health problems.”* – Leroy Koopman
“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hid you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with you lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” – The Message, Matthew 5:14-16, Eugene Peterson