Seeds NL: Parables of Mark

Parables of Mark

Mark 4:1-34

Psalm 126

File:The Sower - My Dream.jpg

Image found here

Call to Worship

Lord give us the ears to hear and the eyes to see

 

Let our light shine!

Teach us the truth of your parables

Come let us learn about the Lord

Call to Worship

Plant the seed in our hearts

Let us tend it and let it grow

May our church be like the tree of heaven, with room for all

Come let spend some time at home with God

Call to Worship

The Lord has done great things for us

Let us rejoice

May those who sow in tears, reap with shouts of joy

Come, let us shout to the Lord, for he does great things. 

Prayer of Confession: God, we know we have trouble letting everyone into the nest. We claim there is not enough room, or resources, or we discriminate against the odd ducks who look or act different than us. Remind us that the kingdom of heaven is like a tree of bounty with enough food and room for all, and teach us to be more open, accepting and to share more we pray.
Prayer of Confession: I confess that my tears do not feel like they are watering anything today. I have forgotten what seeds I have planted, and have lost hope that they will grow. You know what work has been done, you know that the tending counts, help the good things grow into harvest I pray.

Assurance of Pardon: God promises that we will come home with shouts of joy, carrying a harvest of grace, Know the good news: In Jesus Christ we are forgiven. Amen.

Eucharist Prayer: God, you planted the very first seeds with Adam and Eve and continue to tend the gardens of the earth. On the day of Jesus’ resurrection, the first thing he did was to kneel in the dirt, and be mistaken for a gardener, because he is the gardener. May this meal together plan the seeds of grace in our souls to be tended and grown. Send your Holy Spirit on these elements to nourish us and our community we pray. Amen.

Prayer of Dedication/Prayer of the Day: Lord let us tend what needs to be tending. Help us to root out the weeds, and water and nourish all that is good in the world, help us to grow we pray. Amen.

Hymns: To God Be the Glory; Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God; Somebody’s Knocking At Your Door; Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise;

With Children: Treasure Hunt: explain that finding the meaning of parables is like a treasure hunt; plant seeds/mustard seeds; cut out and glue lots of kinds of birds on a big tree/nest;

Image may contain: one or more people, possible text that says 'Be a lamp, a lifeboat, a ladder. Help someone's soul heal. Walk out of your house like a shepherd. RUMI ILAIDA TUMBLA COM'

Other Weeks of Seeds of Prayer Narrative Lectionary Resources available here

WHy Church is not about Belief in JESUS!!!!

Every time we talk about belief in the Bible, the word is actually faith.

WAHOO! LET THE REVOLUTION BEGIN: religion is about belief, whereas it should be (and spirituality really is about) faith.

For a handy chart with some scripture click here

Here is the deal

Beliefs are the limit of human capabilities, they allow us to stretch. Knowledge takes us only so far, beliefs are what we can do beyond knowledge

Faith is letting go to what we know or even believe, and letting the fullness of God to enter our lives. It is beginning to understand that God is beyond our ken, and there is something we live in

Belief is individual, its something you say to define who you are. These is why beliefs are so hard to change, because they are about who you are, and you have reasons for the beliefs you hold. A person (like your spouse or sibling) has a set of beliefs oftentimes they are not e–zzzzactllllyyyy the same as what you believe. Beliefs are a part of who you are. This is why people (and groups, like Presbyterians) have a set of beliefs.

Faith is communal, its about what holds people together. Its often more about the gaps and differences rather than similarities. Faith is what allows you to not know everything, its about practicing the give and take of beliefs. If you don’t have the energy or the wherewithal to believe or trust in something, you can come to a group where others can do what you can’t. When people ask Why do you go to church? Can’t I just believe what I want to at home? I completely agree…one can be spiritual, disciplined and have beliefs on one’s own. And these beliefs are important. BUT, faith is a community that allows for a deeper exploration that isn’t only about what we believe.

Beliefs are tenants that we hang onto. The structures by which we understand the world. As much as they are about who we are, they also are about how we relate to the world and what is important to us. They are the structure on which we hang our hats (philosophers are GREAT at this). Beliefs are something to hang onto.

Faith is a seed–its a small beginning of who we are that we allow to grow. Although it starts out with who we are, its more flexible, not defining our world but instead is something we can come home to (Chart), somewhere to live in the world of different beliefs. Faith holds onto us when we are lost, its what comes and looks for us when we can’t find our way back–Prodigal son, lost coin, lost sheep.

There is nothing wrong with beliefs, I think they are great…they help us to define our world and to express who we are….there are places for beliefs in Christianity–they tend to be during the time of confession, when we say who we are, what we believe first together as a particular church and then silently as individuals. Beliefs are wonderful.

Faith is different that belief though, and in all the places (except in 1st Timothy) what we define as belief is actually faith: epistw (pronounced epistu) .

(Probably because the disciples continue to say they have unfaith, which isn’t a word for us but disbelief is….ah, the logistics of language LOL). Many, many times the disciples and followers of Christ confess that they do not have enough faith…they ask for Christ to help it to grow.

Belief is about telling our own story—telling who we are and why we are that way and what we believe

Faith  is about a way of life, a way of faith, hope and trust in the Lord that is beyond us without God’s help. Faith is something we CAN’T hang onto by ourselves, its too big for us to understand. Its like when Peter walks across water, one minute he has faith–the fullness of God in him, and then it becomes too much and he has to let go and thus starts to sink. These moments are flashes, pieces where we connect via community and God to the fullness of life.

Ex:

Luke 17:3b-6

“If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them. The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you.”

Note, the problem isn’t that the disciples don’t believe in forgiveness, no doubt they do. They just don’t necessarily have the capabilities to do that much forgiveness all the time, so they need more faith (more trust/hope/love from God) in order to be able to live a life of faith.

In Conclusion: Spiritual but not Religious …the church is doing it backwards Christians such as Peter Rollins, Jay Bakker and Jim Palmer deal with the problem of belief and doubt. They say that doubt isn’t counter to belief, its a part of it. I would dig deeper as say that both belief and doubt are a part of the richer, communal and God-intiated (and gift of) faith. (Faith Hope and Love, hence why LOVE is the most important, its about how you live things out, not what you believe)

The Church shouldn’t be a place of tenants and beliefs, it should be a community of questions and faith. The church should be a place for unbelievers to gather (the drunks, the prostitutes and the lepers should be taxi-ed in!)

•Ever notice that Jesus doesn’t go around touted his beliefs. Instead he ask people what they believe (or don’t believe) and then meets them there! (up a tree, by a well, at a stoning, on a cross)…The disciples certainly don’t always retain their trust in God. But, Christ doesn’t ask what people’s beliefs are before them, instead he works to increase their faith. And when people ask Jesus questions, he doesn’t tell them what they should believe, instead he asks them a question in return.

Essentially this scenario takes place over and over, the penultimate being the interchange with Pilate (Katy’s interpretation of events to follow)

Pilate: Who are you?

Jesus: Who do you believe I am?

Pilate: Are you the King of the Jews?

Jesus: So you say…

Pilate: You are the savior?

Jesus: If you think so….

Pilate: Just answer me, are you the King or aren’t you?

Jesus: You say I am, and all these people say I am, I don’t claim to be the King of the Jews, however, I will say this. Even if everyone stopped calling me the King, then the very rocks would say that’s who I am…just saying………

Note: not putting beliefs on others, just a discussion about where the community of faith was….that should be how the church exists!!!!!!

This is the call of the church, we are called not to a set of beliefs (that’s law people) but the gift of faith (YAY for saved by grace not works)……

I don’t know what I believe…but I do have a little faith!

For God so loved the world that whoever has (even a little) faith into him shall never die, but have eternal life

God and Gardens: Summer Series Prt 1

seedsThen God looked around at the earth he created, and She had a thought….I need a garden and gardeners….one thought….

God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground (see below for full passage)

God the master creator, created life to be in relationship from the very beginning. From the first moment, God said, we need life. He planted us in a garden, to coexist with and work with plants.

God the gardener

We are at no more than co-gardeners

In reality we would probably do better to think of ourselves as plants.

With this is mind, lets begin our exploration of the Bible with plants…..

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFzXaFbxDcM

Genesis 2:1-9  New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

2 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude.And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.

These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created.

In the day that the Lord[a] God made the earth and the heavens, when no plant of the field was yet in the earth and no herb of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no one to till the ground; but a stream would rise from the earth, and water the whole face of the ground— then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground,[b] and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being. And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east; and there he put the man whom he had formed. Out of the ground the Lord God made to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.