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One With Us


Sermon Notes from today’s ZOOM worship service
of the Madison Valley Presbyterian Church
Delivered by Rev. Steve Hundley
Poetic notes taken by JanBeek

One With Us

Have you ever spoken honestly
And in the process provoked
A person to anger?
Perhaps you even joked

About what you said.
You’re trying to be forgiven.
Be careful what you say and do.
Beware the life you’re livin’.

Jesus was with a crowd
Of sinners at the Jordan.
What had Jesus done to need
Forgiveness? What secrets hoardin’?

Sometimes we find ourselves
Guilty by association.
So Jesus had reason to be
Thought a sinner by the Jewish nation.

John the Baptist, however,
Knew Jesus was sinless.
So he didn’t want to baptize Him.
But his protest was winless!

Jesus was determined to be
Baptized by John, even though
He was sin-free. So we wonder,
Why did He need it? Want to know?

He wanted to be baptized
In order to be One with us!
Like Him, we need to be
One in Christ and eliminate fuss!

If Jesus was willing
To step down and be One
With all of us sinners,
Who are we, when all’s said and done?

We are all sinners, invited
To come to the river, too.
Be one with our brothers and sisters.
I’m all for it. How about you?

The sermon was inspired by the scriptures: Acts 19:1-7 and Mark 1:4-11
which were eloquently read to us by our pastor’s wife, Elaine,
from Eugene Peterson’s “The Message Bible”

ACTS 19 1-2 Now, it happened that while Apollos was away in Corinth, Paul made his way down through the mountains, came to Ephesus, and happened on some disciples there. The first thing he said was, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed? Did you take God into your mind only, or did you also embrace him with your heart? Did he get inside you?”

“We’ve never even heard of that—a Holy Spirit? God within us?”

“How were you baptized, then?” asked Paul.

“In John’s baptism.”

“That explains it,” said Paul. “John preached a baptism of radical life-change so that people would be ready to receive the One coming after him, who turned out to be Jesus. If you’ve been baptized in John’s baptism, you’re ready now for the real thing, for Jesus.”

5-7 And they were. As soon as they heard of it, they were baptized in the name of the Master Jesus. Paul put his hands on their heads and the Holy Spirit entered them. From that moment on, they were praising God in tongues and talking about God’s actions. Altogether there were about twelve people there that day.

MARK 4-6 John the Baptizer appeared in the wild, preaching a baptism of life-change that leads to forgiveness of sins. People thronged to him from Judea and Jerusalem and, as they confessed their sins, were baptized by him in the Jordan River into a changed life. John wore a camel-hair habit, tied at the waist with a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild field honey.

7-8 As he preached he said, “The real action comes next: The star in this drama, to whom I’m a mere stagehand, will change your life. I’m baptizing you here in the river, turning your old life in for a kingdom life. His baptism—a holy baptism by the Holy Spirit—will change you from the inside out.”

9-11 At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God’s Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: “You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.”

PRAYER OF CONFESSION: 

God of all mercy, in our baptism You have marked us as Your own; You have given us a new identity and made us part of the body of Christ.  In doing so, You have called us to rise to new life and live together in community.  However, we have not been faithful to Your call.  We have forged our own identity and held to destructive habits.  We confess we have failed to welcome others, and broken our bonds with our brothers and sisters, and served ourselves more than You.  Forgive us, we pray, for the sake of Christ, our Savior.

ASSURANCE OF PARDON:  John 1:12

Hear the good news!  God said to Jesus, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with You I am well pleased.”  We have a high priest who is able to sympathize with our weakness, who has been tempted as we are, yet is without sin.

In Christ’s name we may draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, and there find mercy and grace to help in time of need.

As forgiven sinners, may we go out into the world
and make a positive difference.
May we…

Photo by Polina Kovaleva on Pexels.com

If you have not heard former Republican Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s You Tube message today, I recommend you click on the link here. His message, reinforcing the need for UNITY in our USA, is quite powerful. God Bless Arnie! We all need to step up in support of Democracy as he has done!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/arts-entertainment/2021/01/10/arnold-schwarzenegger-twitter-speech-capitol-nazis/

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
If you missed my last post, “Embrace God”
with Steve Hundley’s Pastoral Prayer,
I invite you to go to it.
Like Arnold’s speech, it is a powerful message.

See ya tomorrow.

A Different Colored July 4th


July 4th on Color Wheel

This is a purple and yellow July 4th! Purple for all those people who are hurting on this day. Yellow for all the varied colors that make up our rich racial cultures (Asian, Native American, Black, Hispanic, etc.). Yes, Black Lives Matter. Yes, they endure untold prejudicial treatment… and so do toooo many in our world.

Do you know why purple and yellow look so nice together? Turns out they are what’s called complementary colors. They appear opposite each other on the color wheel. Other complementary colors are red and green, and blue and orange.

Interestingly, complementary colors are one primary color, and the color formed by a combination of the remaining two primary colors. Maybe you don’t find this as nifty as I do , but perhaps it explains why I like the images from “July 4th Morning in Glacier National Park” so much!

Not just red, white, and blue, but purple and brown and yellow … all the colors of the rainbow make up who we are.

Singing Sky Photography

Check out the gorgeous
photography by Paul Holdorf
by clicking on his name here.

As you know, July 4th is a national holiday in the USA.
This year it takes on a different kind of meaning for us.

“Uncle Sam” gives us the “OK” sign… but everything is NOT OK. Too many people are dying of COVID-19 and too many people are suffering the injustices of prejudice. Too many people are not feeling “Free to Bee” (as I posted on my blog yesterday).

We’d bee “OKer”
if we just “Love One Another”
and respect one another
and practiced the “All are Created Equal”
beliefs that are part of our constitution.

My friend, Lynn Foreman, last year on this day.

A Haiku to Remember

Last year on this day
Seniors served the parade crowd
No parade this year

Last year on this day
More than four thousand came here
This year we are still

Stillness gives think time
Time to ponder our blessings
Figure how to share

Share the grace of God
As He’s blessed you, bless others
Love One Another

In this photo from last year, I can see
I needed a haircut!
This year I’m feeling perkier by the minute.
Life is improving.
Hallelujah!!

Thanks for your prayers!
What are your plans for today?
Let’s sing in unison
and think UNITY!!

See ya tomorrow!
Love from JanBeek

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