Monday, June 29, 2020

For Online Sermon June 28, 2020

By P@ Russell

Considering the sermon by Pastor Bruce Spear, June 28, 2020

Scripture Reading: John 5:1-8

There are several ways that we can go deeper with the words that Pastor Bruce spoke this morning. As the people encountered Jesus in Biblical times, so we too can encounter Him in our lives today. I invite you to pick one of these suggestions and ask the Lord to bring His living Word to your life, to speak to you in this time you spend with Him.

1.  Re-listen to the sermon. You can forward the video to the beginning of the sermon. As you listen, write down words or phrases or ideas that “catch” your thoughts or feelings. Stop the video and write or think about what “caught” your deeper attention. Why did you stop in that spot? What might the Holy Spirit be saying to you?

2.  Re-read the story of Jesus at the Pool of Bethesda. Imagine that YOU are the invalid. Why are you there? What would Jesus say to you? How would you answer him?

John 5:1 Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

3.  Spend time meditating on the 19th century painting by Carl Bloch that we saw.

What do the shadows and the colors say to you about this story? What insight does the artist’s manner of painting Jesus give you? Where are you in this painting? Why?

4.      Listen to the story that Pastor Bruce told us about the Abbot Joseph and the novice. (It is towards the end of the sermon). Read Susan Spear’s poem aloud.

Wind and Flame

The wind is wild; the fire is not tame.

You mouth the prayers, recite the ancient creed.

If you will, you can become all flame.

You scour the Scriptures, making truth your aim.

You advertise your goodness, deed by deed.

The wind is wild; the fire is not tame.

You pay your tithe to stake a heavenly claim.

You aid the poor to justify your greed.

If you will, you can become all flame.

You pass the peace and play your high church game.

Yawning at tradition, you accede.

The wind is wild; the fire is not tame.

With your voice you sing and praise God’s name

Then utter words that cut and make men bleed.

If you will, you can become all flame.

Refining fire and wind want to reclaim

You. They’ll sear and burn and not recede.

The wind is wild; the fire is not tame.

But if you will, you can become all flame.

            By Susan Delaney Spear courtesy of The Christian Century

What does this poem say to you? How might you pray the phrase, “If you will, you can become all flame”?

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ,” (2 Cor. 4:6).

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