Tag Archives: Mark 1:5

Old Cat

Biblical Text: Mark 15:1-47
Full Sermon Draft

The Sermon is for Palm/Passion Sunday, so the service starts out with those Hosannas and the Palm procession, it moves through Pilate’s palace, and ends at Golgotha and the tomb. There are a myriad of subjects possible, but the with Mark’s text what stood out to me this week was Pilate’s repeated pawing, “The King of the Jews”. He’s having perverse fun with the Chief Priests, and the crowds, and even with Jesus. He’s abusing his office for entertainment. The sermon compares it to an old cat and a mouse. The irony is that Pilate, the de facto king of the Jews, actually has the King of the Jews before him. And all throughout Jesus is nothing but truthful. The test is can we see that. Can we see the King not just in his purple, but also in His suffering? Old cats grow blind, all tyrants fall, but the King shall come when morning dawns. Can we see it?

Worship note: I’ve left in a verse or two of several of our hymns today. The hymns of Palm Sunday are such a big part of the experience.
We fade in with the choir processional – Hosanna
In between the split reading is No Tramp of Soldiers Marching Feet verse 2 (LSB 444)
At the conclusion of the readings is Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted verse 2 (LSB 451)
The conclusion is Ride On Ride On in Majesty (LSB 441)
All of these hymns in their fullness deal with seeing the King on the Throne which is the cross.

Kings, Crosses and the (un)random universe

Biblical Text: Mark 11:1-11, Mark 15:1-5, 15, 25-26
Full Draft of Sermon

The framing in the world was a massive lottery jackpot. This is not a railing against the lottery, but let me just say the things we surround ourselves with and allow say something about us. The massive growth of lotteries, casinos and “gaming” over my lifetime might tell us something about what we actually worship or at least how we view the world. A step away from despair is to see the world as random, nothing more that lottery balls bouncing through the world.

There are many things we can take from Palm Sunday or the Pilate Readings. But one theme would be that the world has a King. This world is anything but random. If we are tempted to think that nothing matters – like the world weary Pilate – the passion says no. Everything is full of meaning. And the most meaningful things are rarely dressed like Kings but can be found in the humblest places.

Fevers

Sermon Text: Mark 1:4-11
Full Text of Sermon

The flu knocked me out for a considerable amount of time this week. And when you are chilling and sweating some different lines come into you head. And I’m sure I didn’t get to refine this one enough. And I feel like I am way out there on a limb. I doubt you find too many preachers willing to base a sermon on first part of Mark 1:5. Maybe the second part, but not the first. But just the parallels and the humanity of that verse struck me, with deep echoes of Jesus as well – “like sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34). A people straying from the Rock Solid Temple to some hippie in the desert…why?

That hippie in the desert offered them Jesus. Yes the temple rituals were the best and were effective and all the other things. But so much must have been in the way or come between the word of God and those people going out to John. All John did was say wait until you see the next guy. All I’ve got is this water to prepare…but that coming one, he’ll bring the Spirit. And it was enough. Because He gave them Jesus.