Today is another day where we have been challenged by the weather in our Attendance at Church. The 8:30 service drew only three brave souls. We had a time of sharing in the entry way. Dropped off our offerings and went on our way. I expect a few more for the 10:30 but we will likely not be breaking any records. The weather prediction for today looks iffy at best and may be a real mess. I totally get it if people don’t turn up. But there are a few things that we can do… remotely, in our homes. Here is a list if you should decide to stay home today.
1. Begin with a time of Quiet (Remember silence makes room for God)
2. Put on some worship music. CD, 96.1 FM or stream some over the internet, try Groove Shark
3. Read the scriptures for today, you can find them in the post below this one.
4. Here are my notes for my sermon on Mark 1 the Baptism and Temptation of Jesus
GOSPEL: Mark 1:9-15
9About that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10As soon as Jesus came out of the water, he saw the sky open and the Holy Spirit coming down to him like a dove. 11A voice from heaven said, “You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with you.”
12Right away God’s Spirit made Jesus go into the desert. 13He stayed there for forty days while Satan tested him. Jesus was with the wild animals, but angels took care of him.
14After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee and told the good news that comes from God. 15He said, “The time has come! God’s kingdom will soon be here. Turn back to God and believe the good news!”
What is it that pleases God
illustration and introduction:
I come home and first I am greeted by Ella our Dog. she comes and meets us at the door carrying a cloth flower, a bone or some other toy. Her tail is wagging, she is genuinely glad to see me.
val has just cooked a creative delicious meal…. something new.
we have a guest that is visiting us arriving shortly
Tomorrow is a day off and I will be able to spend it in my shop working to create something new or fix something Old.
Because we are close to being empty nesters we have been able to get out to dinner or attend a basket ball or hockey game once a week…. we have not been able to do that for about 30 years.
I get a call from someone who needs something fixed or something done. I pack up a few tools and head out.
The afternoon is warm, here is a breeze and we have a couple of guests and their family. Val and I pick up a few things and head out on the boat for an afternoon and evening on the River. We cook, eat, swim and enjoy the sail and the time we can share with our friends.
This summer we took a family picture… and there was a moment that all 5 of my children were lined up together and I have to say I was pleased… just to see it.
These are some of the things that give me pleasure.
Each of us will have things that give us pleasure. It might be work it might be leisure.
God has some things too that give him pleasure. Here Mark records one such incident.
He says You are my own dear son and I am well pleased with you.
God looks a His son, Jesus and he is pleased… he takes pleasure.
And Jesus has not done anything yet
What is it that God takes pleasure in
1. That he exists. It is like an artisan who has created a wonderful piece. He Just steps back and admires it in its final form and completion.
2. That he took the step of baptism and presented himself before God ready and willing.
3. He knew of all the gifts given and of all the needs that would present.
And so the same thing can apply to us.
1. We are his creation he made us.
2. That we took some step to acknowledge him. To present out selves before him
•Being born again
3. Acknowledging that we have been gifted and that there are works for us to do
The one thing that isn’t here is a long list of the things already accomplished.
Jesus hadn’t done anything and we don’t need to have done anything to receive gods pleasure
So what then are the next steps that please God
Jesus was lead by the spirit, into the desert, to be tempted, by the devil
When it comes to the things that we are called to, they may well be out of our comfort zones. But after all that is why he has given us supernatural gifts. That is why he goes ahead of us to prepare the way. That is why he has us go together. That is why he calls us to united fervent prayer. That is why he has sent his angels. That is why miracles sometimes happen.
If what we were called to do was easy then he wouldn’t have done any of that.
Today I think of Reed Fleming who I encountered in a coffee shop this week sitting with a couple of dear folks who were just in need of a listening ear and to be accompanied on their journeys. I think of Madeleine who just returned from Africa once again where she ministered to the wounded in the harshest of conditions. She returned exhausted, having given her all. I think of Those who went out last night… 250 souls to walk the uptown core to raise money for the homeless. Thanks Colin for calling this to our attention. And many others of you that are being led by the spirit of God into darker places than you would rather be. Thank you Lord that you call us to the uncomfortable places.
And finally you can make your offering. It is very difficult for the Church/Vestry to pay the bills when we have to skip Sundays, so I would really encourage you to make other arrangements. You could:
1. Sign up for PAT Pre Authorized Tithing. Download the form on this website and bring it into the office on a Tuesday or Thursday and we will set you up. That is what I do.
2. You can use PayPal There is a link on this site so you can sent funds to the Church and it will be credited to you as a donation.
3. You could just drop by with your envelope through the week and leave it at the office.
Thanks be to God who loved us and gave us His own Son, which pleased him and whose pleasure it is to love us.