Monthly Archives: January 2018

​Donald R. Elly, M. Div. This the Sabbath, not just another busy day. Jesus, the son of God is obedient to the authority of God’s command to worship. Mark paints a picture of Jesus’ Sabbath practice that seems quite unusual. For Jesus Sabbath is filled with one activity after another. When I began to reflect on Jesus Sabbath as described by Mark I found myself, like Jesus a bit tired and left with this question, What makes the Sabbath Holy and not just another busy day? Jesus is pressed on every side by the need to heal. In the Synagogue the torah instruction is interrupted by a demon-possessed man in need of healing. An odd detail is that making someone tormented whole is a violation of the Sabbath. Going to dinner after teaching in the Synagogue, Jesus is again confronted with the need to heal Peter’s mother in law, his hostess so she can serve. In a moment of tenderness, Jesus reaches out and raises her from her bed so she can fulfill her duties. Where do I need the touch of Jesus to lift me up and make the Sabbath more than another day? The pressure continues as the needs for healing threaten to overwhelm leaving Jesus no time even for prayer. Jesus makes clear that his ministry is more than being a celebrated healer. Jesus, the Son of God, is a sign of God breaking in restoring life’s balance called for by Isaiah with these words: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God…Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not faint.” IT’S NOT JUST ANTOHER DAY, THIS IS THE LORD’S DAY. LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT.” AMEN. February 4, 2018​​​​Cycle B​​5th Sunday of Epiphany Isaiah 40:21-31​Psalm 118:24​1st Cor. 9: 16-23​*Mark 1: 29-39

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Wow!!!​​​​​​Donald R. Elly, M. Div. What shape does authority take for you? When someone is an authority what makes clear that they are? Mark says, “Jesus teaches and practices as “one in authority”? Authorities are all around us. Our texts describe two ways in which Jesus demonstrates authority. The first as a teacher. “Jesus entered the Synagogue and …astounded those present for he taught as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” For Mark Jesus authority comes from his being God’s living presence and he speaks out of that relationship and not legal debate. Second and even more significant is that fact that Jesus demonstrates authority in his actions as he heals a demon possessed man who is in need of help. This raises a key question that Jesus words and actions lift up for me. All too often in my life of service to God I am treated as an authority on the basis of my belief in Jesus, yet my actions clearly demonstrate that there is a gap between what I say and do. Forgive me Lord when I undercut your authority and call on my life by saying one thing and doing another. Thank you for the hope you give in your authority that God desires me to be whole and healthy and not in torment as the man in the synagogue was. There are so many voices and viewpoints clamoring for authority. Strengthen me in claiming you and then living by the authority of God you demonstrate in your care of that tormented human being. Let me never forget that those coming to worship are coming, as do I, in need of your authority, your healing and the hope you give in your presence. A final truth that is present here is that Jesus violates the Sabbath by healing( which was considered work) but in doing so makes clear that God values health over disease and comes to save us from ourselves. January 28, 2018​​​ Cycle B​​ 4th Sunday of Epiphany Deut. 18:15-20​ Psalm 111​ 1st Cor. 8:1-13​ *Mark 1:21-28

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When God Calls!

Donald R. Elly, M. Div. God calls.  Jonah experiences God’s call as command, “Go at once to Nineveh… Cry out against it, for their wickedness has come up before me.” But Jonah set out to flee…”   What do you … Continue reading

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