Sunday Reflection – November 14, 2021


Keep watch

Mark 13 As Jesus left the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look! What awesome stones and buildings!”

Jesus responded, “Do you see these enormous buildings? Not even one stone will be left upon another. All will be demolished.”

Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple. Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? What sign will show that all these things are about to come to an end?”

Jesus said, “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many people will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the one!’ They will deceive many people. When you hear of wars and reports of wars, don’t be alarmed. These things must happen, but this isn’t the end yet. Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other, and there will be earthquakes and famines in all sorts of places. These things are just the beginning of the birth pangs associated with the end.

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Don’t listen to the people who claim to be Christ (November 14th)

Read Mark 13:1-8 with your family. This story happens after Jesus and four of his closest friends walk to the hills outside of Jerusalem.

This is a message of hope. Don’t be upset with all the bad things happening in the world, they are not signs of anything. God doesn’t do that, and no one is given a special message about what God is doing. Jesus taught us everything we needed to know about God, so don’t believe anyone who says they know more or better about what God wants for the world. Sad things are going to happen, but God is not responsible for those sad things. God wants us to help make things better, not fear what we don’t know.

Sunday Reflection – November 7, 2021


Beware of the scribes

Mark 12 38 As he was teaching, he said, “Watch out for the legal experts. They like to walk around in long robes. They want to be greeted with honor in the markets. 39 They long for places of honor in the synagogues and at banquets. 40 They are the ones who cheat widows out of their homes, and to show off they say long prayers. They will be judged most harshly.”

A poor widow’s contribution

41 Jesus sat across from the collection box for the temple treasury and observed how the crowd gave their money. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. 42 One poor widow came forward and put in two small copper coins worth a penny. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury. 44 All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on.”

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Beware of the scribes/the Widow’s Mite (November 7th)

Read Mark 12:38-44 with your family. This story happens after Jesus is finished teaching in the temple in Jerusalem, and he is just sitting there with his friends.

Why would someone put everything they had in the temple collection box? That is an important question. Maybe they had complete faith that someone at the temple would take care of them now. Maybe they were convinced to do it by people at the temple that were not looking out for her best interests? We will never know the answer to this question.

The church has often told this story admiring the widow for her generosity while looking down at the scribes for giving only their extra money not all they had. However, only once does Jesus tell someone to give away all their money – and that is a wealthy young man who wants to do an action to get into God’s world without changing his attitude or trusting in the new vision (Mark 10:21). Jesus never told anyone to give away all their money when they didn’t have much to begin with. We are always to give from our abundance, and then a little bit more.

Sunday Reflection – October 31, 2021


The Greatest commandment

Mark 12 28 One of the legal experts heard their dispute and saw how well Jesus answered them. He came over and asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

29 Jesus replied, “The most important one is Israel, listen! Our God is the one Lord, 30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, with all your mind, and with all your strength. 31 The second is this, You will love your neighbour as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.”

32 The legal expert said to him, “Well said, Teacher. You have truthfully said that God is one and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love God with all of the heart, a full understanding, and all of one’s strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself is much more important than all kinds of entirely burned offerings and sacrifices.”

34 When Jesus saw that he had answered with wisdom, he said to him, “You aren’t far from God’s kingdom.” After that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: The greatest commandments (October 31st)

Read Mark 12:28-34 with your family. This story happens after Jesus has entered Jerusalem and everyone celebrated his arrival.

In this passage Jesus is quoting the Hebrew Scriptures:

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 says “Israel, listen! Our God is the Lord! Only the Lord! Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your being, and all your strength.”

Leviticus 19:18 says: “You must not take revenge nor hold a grudge against any of your people; instead, you must love your neighbour as yourself; I am the Lord.”

Jesus was able to prove to the scribes that he knew scripture and was not teaching anything against the teachings of God.

Sunday Reflection – October 24, 2021


healing of blind bartimaeus

46 Jesus and his followers came into Jericho. As Jesus was leaving Jericho, together with his disciples and a sizable crowd, a blind beggar named Bartimaeus, Timaeus’ son, was sitting beside the road. 47 When he heard that Jesus of Nazareth was there, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, show me mercy!” 48 Many scolded him, telling him to be quiet, but he shouted even louder, “Son of David, show me mercy!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him forward.”

They called the blind man, “Be encouraged! Get up! He’s calling you.”

50 Throwing his coat to the side, he jumped up and came to Jesus.

51 Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?”

The blind man said, “Teacher, I want to see.”

52 Jesus said, “Go, your faith has healed you.” At once he was able to see, and he began to follow Jesus on the way.

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Bartimaeus sees again (October 24th)

Read Mark 10:46-52 with your family. This is the last story in Mark before Jesus heads for Jerusalem, where he will meet people shouting Hosanna!

The really interesting thing about this story is that Bartimaeus is the first person to call Jesus “Son of David”, and Jesus doesn’t tell him to be quiet. Earlier in the Gospel of Mark, whenever Jesus would be called something special, Jesus would always tell them to be quiet. However, Jesus does not tell Bartimaeus to be quiet. That is probably because this is what Jesus’ ministry has been heading towards, with all the healings and teachings and predictions of his death. If you continue to read the story in Mark, you will read about the cross and the Resurrection, all of which will happen within eight days of this meeting with Bartimaeus.

So who is the Son of David? Many of the Hebrew people believe that a person would come along to free them from the Romans, the Messiah. Some thought that person would be a warrior. Some thought there would be more than one person. But everyone who believed in the Messiah believed he would restore the kingdom of David and the Hebrews would be free to run their own country and government. As we know, Jesus had a very different way of being the Messiah.

Sunday Reflection – October 17, 2021


Jesus predicts his death and resurrection

Mark 10 32 Jesus and his disciples were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, with Jesus in the lead. The disciples were amazed while the others following behind were afraid. Taking the Twelve aside again, he told them what was about to happen to him. 33 “Look!” he said. “We’re going up to Jerusalem. The Human One will be handed over to the chief priests and the legal experts. They will condemn him to death and hand him over to the Gentiles.34 They will ridicule him, spit on him, torture him, and kill him. After three days, he will rise up.”

A request from James and John

35 James and John, Zebedee’s sons, came to Jesus and said, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask.”

36 “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

37 They said, “Allow one of us to sit on your right and the other on your left when you enter your glory.”

38 Jesus replied, “You don’t know what you’re asking! Can you drink the cup I drink or receive the baptism I receive?”

39 “We can,” they answered.

Jesus said, “You will drink the cup I drink and receive the baptism I receive,40 but to sit at my right or left hand isn’t mine to give. It belongs to those for whom it has been prepared.”

41 Now when the other ten disciples heard about this, they became angry with James and John. 42 Jesus called them over and said, “You know that the ones who are considered the rulers by the Gentiles show off their authority over them and their high-ranking officials order them around.43 But that’s not the way it will be with you. Whoever wants to be great among you will be your servant. 44 Whoever wants to be first among you will be the slave of all, 45 for the Human One didn’t come to be served but rather to serve and to give his life to liberate many people.”

Performed by Margaret Whisselle

Kids Korner: Jesus talks to his friends about being a ‘ransom’ (October 17th)

Read Mark 10:32-45 with your family. This is the third time Jesus tells his closest friends that he is going to die soon. And just like the last two times, the disciples don’t want to hear it and don’t understand what Jesus’ death means. In this story John and James go to Jesus privately and ask that they can sit on his left and right hands – the most important positions to a king or leader. They just don’t understand that Jesus is not going to be a king the way the world recognizes kings.

Again Jesus tries to explain to his friends what being a servant leader means, and he uses a new word to help them understand: Ransom. The way the Hebrew’s understood random with God is that God is making an exchange to get people free from the cultural ideas of power and greed, and bring them back into God’s world of equality. In that ransom exchange, people have to accept Jesus being offered as a replacement for their mistakes. If the people don’t accept it, the ransom doesn’t work.