Gate Pa – Year B 10th Sunday of Ordinary Time,
Psalm Psalm 138
First Reading: 1 Samuel 8:4-11,16-20
Second Reading: 2 Cor 4:13-5:1
Gospel: Mark 3:20-35
What I want to say:
I want to look at what we think sufficient success on earth is and compare that to what it might have looked like for Jesus. In his story it meant being accused of being possessed by the evil one, described as out of his mind by his family, people leaving him because if got too hard, and then crucifixion. So what is sufficient success on earth for us?
What I want to happen:
People to talk about what is sufficient success on earth for us is?
colleague posted on Facebook last week
using prayer from TSSF daily obedience
“"give your laborers . . . sufficient success on earth."
asked if people had any idea what constitutes sufficient success on earth?”
number of really interesting answers – surprising answers
wondered what we think success might be
- talk neighbour moment
2. Successful Church
what is success for a church?
- Sunday school and youth ministry?
- many people who replied to post talked about success as having enough money to get by
-> is it the same for church?
while ago there was a posting on Facebook a story about church planter/pastor in USA
how church quickly grew
preached gospel relevant and that connected with people’s needs and desires
began to question his understanding of success when compared with gospels
what might that look like?
so what does success look like in todays gospel reading?
- people are healed
- demons are cast out
- crowds come to hear Jesus
-> often stop there – feels good
but wait there is more
people healed restored to their families and communities
relationships are changed
economics of those communities are changed
healing is offered free
and to anyone
at any time - even on Sabbath
he announced that the centre for the forgiveness of sin had moved from the temple to him
he declared the Kingdom of God had come among them
both of which were seen as direct threat to the temple leadership
all that had political and military ramifications
both Pharisees and Herodian’s were deeply unhappy
lots of people were not happy.
success was people being healed
people restored to family and community
outcasts were recognised – honoured and blessed
God’s radical reign of love being established
success was the response of groups like the religious leadership
- accusing his of being possessed by evil one
- publically shame him into silence
family thought he was out of his mind and came to take him in hand
- prevent further shame being piled on the family
eventually his success would lead to many of his followers leaving him when it all got too hard, or his teaching got too hard
it would lead to his betrayal
success was always about death
Jesus said – success is when we take up our cross and follow him.
4. Back to Church
so back to the church I was talking about
he started preaching more in line with story we heard today
about Jesus being among the poorest
honouring and blessing the outcast
about living God’s radical love as Jesus lived that love
a love for all people
- not just the deserving
- not just the people like us
and the people left in their droves
and now he says he has a successful church
people are living out God’s love
taking a lot of flack for it
5. Planning Day
What is a successful church for us?
in what ways are we successful?
talk to neighbour