O God, you are the hope of all the ends of the earth, the God of the
spirits of all flesh. Hear our humble intercession for all races and families on
earth, that you will turn all hearts to yourself.
Remove from our minds hatred, prejudice, and contempt for those who are not of our own
race or color, class or creed, that, departing from everything that estranges and divides,
we may by you be brought into unity of spirit, in the bond of peace. Amen.
and Children's Messages from this page
Servant of All
a sermon based on
Mark 9:30-37 by Rev. Dr. Cynthia Huling Hummel
This morning's reading places Jesus on the road with his disciples.
It's a story that we can relate to because it's about three things we're
all familiar with: It's about fear, fighting and what it means to be
first. Now Mark tells us that Jesus and his followers passed through
Galilee. Jesus didn't want anyone to know he was in town. Jesus needed
some time alone with his disciples: time away from the crowds, time to
teach them about his mission, time to tell them what was surely to pass:
that he would be betrayed, that he would be killed and that he would
rise again. If you're thinking this sounds familiar, you're right. This
is the second time in Mark's gospel that Jesus predicts his passion.
Even though this is the second time that Jesus spoke to his disciples
about what was ahead, they still didn't understand. They didn't get what
Jesus was talking about and yet they were too afraid to ask Jesus what
it was that he meant . Isn't it curious that the disciples were too
afraid to ask him. What about you? Have you ever been in a similar
circumstance where you didn't understand something, but you were too
afraid to ask?
Math was never my best subject. I especially seemed to have
difficulty grasping new mathematical concepts. I don't know about you,
but my worst nightmare was those horrible word problems that would
always appear on exams! The problems were usually about trains leaving
places like Chicago or New York barreling towards each other in the
darkness and you had to figure out when the trains would crash. Math was
frustrating for me because more often than not, the teacher would move
too quickly- at least faster than my feeble brain could think. And I was
positive that I was the only person in the class who couldn't keep up
and who didn't understand.
I've been pondering this question all week:
Why is it that we, like the disciples, are sometimes afraid to ask
what we don't understand? What causes our fear and our reluctance? ...