Stewardship Preaching Series – Rooted in Love
Preaching is one side of a sacred conversation. While I am the main speaker on a Sunday morning, I am listening and discerning what to say for the rest of the week. I listen to all of you in the congregation to see what your struggles are. I read the news and meditate on the lectionary texts to discover what my half of the conversation needs to be. The listening is just as sacred as the preaching. My goal is to get you talking during the week to have a rich interchange that strengthens our faith. As Brian McLaren says, “We make the road by walking together.”
I try to let the scripture text chose me rather than picking the weekly bible reading. I use the Revised Common Lectionary and often preach on the Gospel Lesson. As I look ahead during Stewardship Season, I was struck by how the next few weeks offer different ways to be rooted in God’s love. (You will see this phrase a lot!). The following five weeks cover a section in Mark’s Gospel where the disciples are challenged to love more deeply. I invite you to read and reflect on the scriptures ahead of time. I will also announce a time soon for weekly Bible Study. Here are a few notes and questions:
Rooted in Love as Servant Leaders
James and John come to Jesus and ask to sit at his right hand and left hand, to have the positions of power and authority. Jesus challenges them to lead differently, to be servant leaders. In what concrete ways do we love as Jesus loved while being leaders in the church and the world?
Rooted in Love with New Vision
The disciples wanted to overlook Blind Bartimaeus, who was calling to Jesus. But Jesus saw him and restored his sight. How can God restore a new vision and help us see what God sees when we look past others?
Rooted in Love of God and Neighbor
The Great Commandment to love God with all our heart, mind, and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves is a touchstone for our faith journey. How are the love of God and neighbor intertwined? Which of these is more of a challenge for you?
The Power of Offering Small Things With Great Love
I often feel like what I have to offer is so small compared to what the world needs. Jesus took time to notice a poor widow who gave her last two cents. He told his disciples this was the greatest gift. When we offer what we have with great love, God uses what we give to transform the world. What small thing are you called to share with great love this week?
Rooted in Love Beyond What We See
The disciples were very impressed with the great walls of the Temple in Jerusalem. Like the disciples, we often think that a beautiful church building, and endowment gives us long-term security. Jesus says that even great stone buildings can be fleeting. Our security comes from engaging in the ongoing work of God in the world. As we look into the future, how is God calling us beyond where we are now?