Monday, June 22, 2020

For Online Sermon June 14, 2020

By Pat Russell

Considering the sermon by Bruce Spear on June 14, 2020

Scripture Readings: Mark 2:1-13

How do we “go deeper” with a sermon?  What does “Going Deeper” mean, anyway?  Here are some thoughts on that:  We listen to a sermon at various levels.  At one level we gather in facts or we ask questions, like “Oh, it was Peter’s house that Jesus was in,” or “Capernaum was Jesus home now because he was kicked out of Nazareth.  I had forgotten that,” or “Interesting roof design!  Now I know how those guys got through that roof to let a bed down,” or “How big was that house??”  These are all good things to learn for understanding the context of the story.

“Going Deeper” means that we are not content to learn the facts of an “encounter with Jesus.”  We sense there is an invitation from God to take what the Holy Spirit presents by way of Pastor Bruce into our very lives – the way we live or think or feel.  We approach listening at a whole different level.  This is the call to transformation of our souls.  Jesus says, “Let anyone who has ears, listen!”

What we learn from the context of a sermon is meant to lay the groundwork for something more to grow in our lives, rather like my stirring the soil in my Garden of God’s Goodness and adding compost.  Now, the Holy Spirit plants the seeds.  What seeds are meant for you?  Here are some questions that might help you think about that:

  1. What word or phrase or picture stood out to you, that you remember from yesterday beside the “facts”?  For example:  “great love of friends” or “2 greatest needs – forgiveness and healing” or “Son of Man” or Tim Russell’s gathering, etc.  Recall.  If nothing stands out, ask Jesus to help you.  Was there something that encouraged you to think or act differently -- something for which you would like to ask Jesus?
  2. With whom or what in this “encounter with Jesus” do you most identify?  The silent sick man, Peter’s mother-in-law, the Pharisees (yes, that might be so, if you are honest), an observer in the crowd, Peter, the torn-up roof, the friends….  What made you pick that person or thing?  What feelings do you have as you are experience the story as that person or object?  How does that speak to your life?
  3. As you “encounter Jesus” in this story, what might He be saying to you?  What might He be inviting you into this week?

Here is my Going Deeper:  I remember Bruce talking about the 2 greatest needs in life (forgiveness and healing) and that Jesus does both.  I recalled that I have experienced wonderful healing in my life over the years.  I also recalled various times when I have needed forgiveness for something I have said or done; how the pain of both played out in my life and how I can still feel what it was like.  I think I am like that torn up roof at times.  I am taken apart for something significant to happen but then I can be put back together.  Right now, I have an invitation to let the “sun” shine through me, like an open roof, to the beautiful scene of what Jesus is doing in my world.  That feels exciting and hopeful, no matter what happens next in my life.

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