June 10, 2012 Second Sunday after Pentecost Prayer of the Day O God, the strength of those who hope in you: Be present and hear our prayers; and, because in the weakness of our mortal nature we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, so that in keeping your commandments we may please you in will and deed; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Genesis 3:[1-7] 8-15 The First Sin and Its Punishment (Rom 5:12–21) [Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’ ” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; 5 for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.] 8 They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten
from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.” 14 The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. 15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1 But just as we have the same spirit of faith that is in accordance with scripture—“I believed, and so I spoke”—we also believe, and so we speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. 15 Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. Living by Faith 16 So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. 17 For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, 18 because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. 5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Mark 3:20-35 Jesus and Beelzebul (Mt 12:22–32; Lk 11:14–23) Then he went home; 20 and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. 21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind.” 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, “He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons.” 23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered. 28 “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.” The True Kindred of Jesus (Mt 12:46–50; Lk 8:19–21) 31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” 33 And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
A house divided against itself LEAD STORY -- In Sickness and in Health, But Not in Triviality and Tackiness (News of the weird, June 3, 2012) All U.S. states have forms of no-fault divorce, but not England, which requires that couples prove adultery or abandonment or "unreasonable behavior," which leads to sometimes-epic weirdness, according to an April New York Times dispatch from London. For instance, one woman's petition blamed her husband's insistence that she speak and dress only in Klingon. Other examples of "unreasonable behavior" (gathered by the Times of London): a husband objecting to the "malicious" preparation of his most hated dish (tuna casserole), a spouse's non-communication for the last 15 years (except by leaving Post-it Notes), a spouse's too-rapid TV channelchanging, a husband's distorting the fit of his wife's best outfits by frequently wearing them, and one's insistence that a pet tarantula reside in a glass case beside the marital bed. [The New York Times, 4-7-2012] A couple of days ago I watched a movie recommended to me about The Way, a movie about the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
from France to Spain, with Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. It’s a story of journey, and grief, and loss—but it’s also a story of a group of complete and total misfits who come to hate each other…and then love each other. They end up inspiring change in one another every bit as much as the 500 mile pilgrimage route. In a sense, no matter how dysfunctional they seem to be at times, they become something like family. Family is as foundational a concept in the Bible as anything else. The Bible begins in Genesis, not with talk of nations and tribes…but families. Big families. Real families. With moments of disfunction so great it makes your head spin— and gives one pause at the phrase ”biblical family values.” And, sure, there are other great metaphors to describe the relationship between God and humankind. King and subjects. Master and slaves. But, it always comes back around to family. Sometimes God’s faithful people are likened to the bride of the Bridegroom. And our infidelities are then compared to adultery.
But, most of the time we’re God’s children. God’s daughters and sons who bring great joy as well as great consternation. And so, coming to God and God’s Kingdom is really like…going home. To family. That’s how our gospel for this morning begins. Jesus went home… Now this isn’t home to Nazareth. This is to home to Capernaum, about 30 miles northeast. Jesus’ family comes seeking him – they travel those 30 miles to come and get Jesus. Out of frustration, fear, shame…? Jesus ends up redefining his family He opens up the tent and allows everyone who wants to enter the chance to enter. Who is his family? Those who do the will of God. When you do the will of God you get the chance to be his brother, his sister…even his mother! Jesus’ family is an open family. The door to the family homestead is wide-open. And while the rest of us may bring dysfunction in the door with us—and at times we can look like a group of misfits…the things we gain are amazing. And the greatest of those things is love.
Then Jesus goes about describing the conditions of true kinship. It is not only a matter of flesh and blood. There can be ties that are greater than that. Professor William Barclay suggests that there are four elements to such kinship: a) True kinship lies in a common experience. When you are able to cry as well as to laugh with someone, then the depth of the relationship is truly meaningful. If the basis of true kinship lies in common experience, Christians have the common experience of being forgiven sinners. b) True kinship lies in a common interest. It has been said that a football supporter will have a common interest in football with any lover of the game in any part of the world. But when it is discovered that two people support the same team, then, despite possible barriers of race, gender, language or location, there is an affinity that creates an instant bond. How much more, therefore, for Christians who have a common desire to know more about Jesus Christ. c) True kinship lies in a common obedience. Look at the disciples. They were a mixed group indeed! All kinds of backgrounds, opinions and beliefs were mixed up amongst them. A tax collector like Matthew and a fanatical nationalist like Simon the Zealot ought to have hated each
other with a passion. They were bound together because they both followed the same Jesus. Soldiers in an army, despite the difference in their origins, class, education or color, find that they are bound together in a common cause such that they would give their lives for each other. We can only truly love one another as Christians because of our common obedience to Christ. d) True kinship lies in a common goal. There is nothing that binds us closer than a common aim. If kinship for the Christian comes from the common goal that we are all seeking to share the Gospel of Christ with others, so that lives are changed, then Christians above all else posses the secret of kinship – we are all seeking to know Christ better and bring others within his Kingdom. In whatever else we differ, on this we agree. Today we celebrate this family event Word Sacrament Unified worship and family meal And we are also participating in 2 family events: Commissioning Week of Hope participants – those we commission as a congregation to go and serve for us among the poor of San Diego
And Baptism for Steve and Tammy – celebrating their adoption into the family May God continue to strengthen and broaden our family ties as he calls us and guides in his kingdom. Amen Thanks Commissioning