The symbols Alpha (A) and Omega (ê) on two separate sheets of paper
Today is the beginning of a brand-new year. We even call
this day "New Year's Day" and celebrate it. We like new things. I
wonder how many of you got new things for Christmas? (Let them
answer.) Old things come to an end and new things come. 1996 is
now behind us. Now we live in 1997!
Everything that is new will someday become old. I remember
one Christmas when I got a new... (Here tell a story of a gift
that meant a great deal to you when it was new but the newness
wore off and became old.) People are like our Christmas gifts.
UPCOMING WEEKS In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
Oscar Wilde penned a powerful story about behaviors and definitions and justice called The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian was a handsome young man, a model of physical beauty and moral virtue. People complimented him on his good graces. Parents pointed to him as an example to their youth. One artist even painted an exquisite portrait of him.
"Have you seen it?" whispered the Barbie doll to her next door neighbour.
The next Barbie doll in line was instantly alert. There were five different Barbie dolls, who lived jumbled together in the toy cupboard but who were so jealous of each other that they rarely spoke. "Seen what?" asked the second Barbie doll, blue eyes darting all round the room.
"The Princess," replied the first Barbie with glee. "Caitlin's done her hair and it looks terrible!"
These verses from Mark's gospel are a call to commitment, a call to sacrifice, and a call to give up everything of earthly value in life. To say these are difficult verses is truly an understatement. It is pretty clear that the disciples are not at all ready for what Jesus is saying. They are not ready for Jesus to die and they certainly are not ready to die themselves.