Cycle A First Lesson Sermons for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany
Ask any child at Christmas!
There are three ways to look at a Christmas package. The first is to look forward to it. This is best accomplished by squeezing it, shaking it, and guessing its contents by its weight. The second is to open it. Here, anticipation turns to knowledge as layers of wrapping paper, tape, and tissue are torn away and the contents laid bare. And finally there is the memory stage. This happens when you take the gift out of the box and put it on or put it to use over the years of your life and experience just what it can do.
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.