A digital version of this week’s worship bulletin and sermon.

Gathering

PRELUDE

CONGREGATIONAL WELCOME

Gathering Song           “Come Down, O Love Divine”            red book # 804

THANKSGIVING FOR BAPTISM

GREETING

KYRIE                             red book page 184 (set 8)

PRAYER of the DAY

Word

ISAIAH 53:4-12

PSALM 91:9-16

HEBREWS 5:1-10

MARK 10:35-45

SERMON                                Pastor Chris Halverson

“We don’t do that here.”

 

The Saloon doors swing open, the Big Gun Slingin’ Hombre steps inside, moseys passed the piano and up to the bar—and order a milk—the piano stops, conversation dies, some cowpokes instinctively reach for their guns—and then he adds “in a dirty glass,” and everything is okay again.
—Ordering Milk at a Saloon—we don’t do that here.

Or think of Arlo Guthrie, he’s at the US Army Building on Whitehall Street being inspected for the Draft, and sent over to the Group W bench—where they put everyone who is not considered moral enough to join the army, and the Group W crew want to know why he’s there, and he explains that he was once arrested for littering—and all the criminals step back and don’t want to associate with him, and then he adds, “and creating a nuisance”—and then they are okay with him again…
Being on the group W bench for littering—we don’t do that here.

Or, in the last Avengers movie, the cadre of superheroes arrive in Wakanda and meet T’challa, the King—Bruce Banner, the Hulk, starts to kneel, but T’challa stops him, saying, “We don’t do that here.”

We don’t do that here.

Pray

We don’t do that here.

One of the distinct features of Mark’s Gospel is that Jesus’ disciples are always reaching for Glory and power—and Jesus continually has to remind them, “We don’t do that here.”

For the second time in only a few chapters the disciples make a run at being the best disciple—being the greatest… the Zebedee brothers come to Jesus and ask to be his right hand men…

I can just see Jesus saying, “We don’t do that here.” They have fundamentally misunderstood the nature of who Jesus is, what his ministry is all about, and what the Kingdom of God is… it’s about humility all the way through—lasting the first and firsting the last—noticing the unnoticed, protecting and the least… not lusting after positions of glory, and patting ourselves on the back for getting the best spot and forcing your will on other people—even on God.

The difference between Jesus’ attitude and that of John and James is so very wide—Conservative columnist David Brooks, in his book “The Road to Character” writes of a jarring experience—he was driving home one night and listened to a rebroadcast of a celebrity celebration of America’s victory in World War Two. For such a momentous occasions, and an event squished full of celebrities and big personalities—the whole thing was understated, no one bragged or boasted, they simply were thankful. Then Brooks went home and turned on the football game—the team gained 2 yards—not a touch down, just a two yard gain— and the players and coaches were falling all over themselves with self-praise and declarations of their glory and greatness! Such a contrast of humility and hubris—the same kind of contrast as between Jesus and these Zebedee brothers.

 

And they don’t stop there—Jesus tries to warn them off, “Really, you can drink the cup I’m being offered by God? You can be baptized to the same horrible calling as I’ve been called to?”

Sure—they respond. Let us sup with our Lord, let us share in his glorious goal…

Be careful what you wish for…

Our Lord was referring to the cup he asks to be taken from him at Gethsemane—his Baptism, his calling—a calling that inevitably leads to the Cross…

And so too will the lives of his disciples—martyrdom—dying for the confession that Jesus is Lord—and therefore all the earthly lords are not… in fact, we can read in Acts 12:2 that this very proclamation—Jesus is Lord and you are not—is what got James and John killed by Herod.

But I’m getting ahead of the story now, aren’t I? Right now James and John are asking for a very different type of life, of calling, of greatness… they are looking at the kind of greatness that looks good on a Resume—yeah, I interned under Jesus and then became his Secretary of State after he kicked out the Romans and crowned himself king…. But Jesus isn’t in the resume business—he’s talking about the kind of greatness you find at a Eulogy—lives measured at the end, at that point it isn’t about your resume or your titles, but your relationships and how well you loved, who you served when no one was looking… Yes, Jesus was talking about a Eulogy kind of life while they were talking about a Resume kind of life.

 

And it would be easy to be like their fellow disciples—angry at their arrogance—though I’d imagine the other disciples are secretly mad at themselves—that same inclination toward glory and power hubris over humility, is in them too (is in us too, I would add)—they just didn’t get to Jesus first… but we shouldn’t get angry with them or with any of our fellow Christians when they misplace their faith—when they chase glory or serve power
—instead we should see it as a joke, not an offense. What they are doing is like using a cotton swab to paint a barn, or shewing away a fly with a shotgun… they’re not enemies, just embarrassing themselves… and anyway, we’ll end up doing the same thing sometime, and hopefully people will be gracious with us too. They just need to hear Jesus’ calling, saying, “We don’t do that here.”

 

We don’t do that here—Jesus’ actions do not need nor kneel to nor uphold
power
or glory
or building up an empire or country or a kingdom

—it is about God through Jesus Chris righting the world, reconnected us to the source of life, bringing us back to God’s loving embrace—Serving and giving his life as a Ransom for many
Atonement is the word we’ve put together in English to describe what Jesus is about!
—At-One-Ment–
-Freeing us from Powers that bind us

-absorbing the damage done by our own bad actions and intentions

-showing us how to love—loving us to death and beyond death to resurrection and new life!

HYMN of the DAY            “Lord, Whose Love in Humble Service”           red book # 712

APOSTLES CREED

PRAYERS of INTERCESSION

PEACE

Meal

OFFERING

OFFERTORY  ANTHEM           “United in His Love”

GREAT THANKSGIVING

A MOMENT OF THANKFUL REFLECTION

LORD’S PRAYER

COMMUNION SONGS

Also, red book # 838, red book # 787

Sending

Blessing

ANNOUNCEMENTS

SENDING SONG            “I Love to Tell the Story”           red book # 661

DISMISSAL

POSTLUDE

 

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