North Main October 17 21st Sunday after Pentecost
SCRIPTURE READINGS: Mark 10:35-45
"Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you."
In the high noon of your infinite mercy, you ask, "What do you want me to do for you?" Unrepentant, we muster the further audacity not to ask, but to demand, "Grant us to sit beside you in your glory." We do not understand, but you do. And so, you are patient. You tolerate our prideful indiscretions, our presumptions. And then, you take up your teaching again, for it is plain that we do not yet understand what greatness resides in the choice to be servant, what majesty abides in the choice to be least. We ask forgiveness, that by your great mercy we might find that we are able, despite and because of who we are. We need to ask yourself... Does anyone come to worship expecting to encounter the living God? Not just talk about God or come away with a cozy feeling that one has been loved somehow, but to actually hear the voice of God or catch a glimpse of God’s full glory? What ought we expect when we come to worship? To ease into some comfortable bubble protected from the difficult world out there? Or to be shaken to the core by the awesome majesty of the God we worship? To be honest, there is nothing wrong with the warm comfort of the presence of God through the caring community that is the church. Once in a while, we do need to be reminded of what it is that we mean when we speak of the awesome God. There’s nothing wrong with once in a while leaving the place of worship awestruck. I hope today that will happen to you as we listen to our Laity Sunday Sermons. Methodism, in all its roots, has a long history celebrating and recognizing the ministry of the laity. In the early days of American Methodism, the laity served and maintained congregations between visits of the circuit riders. Today, lay people are the front line of daily ministry at the workplace, in the home and within the community. Archives suggest the earliest plans for a Laity Sunday beginning in 1928. Laity Sunday celebrates the ministry of all Christians to love God and neighbor. On Laity Sunday (this year, we lift up the vocation of all to follow the way of Jesus and lead others to him – particularly as we remember the gift of those persons who loved us into leadership. As we awaken to the voice of Christ calling us to believe and be healed, we discover that the call of God almost always comes from unexpected people and places, so today we will hear from two of our lay people and I said people, just maybe you will leave here a little more in awe of what they and what you can do. Ask yourself today “Who loved you into leadership and a faithful life in Jesus. We are all called to experience grace and share the gift of life in Jesus. “