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Posted by Comments:
Sue, Chesterfield
February 4, 2018
I am returning to preaching following a lengthy
absence and retiring! This will be my first sermon
for three years plus... hence my ability to
comment first and early!
I am thinking of taking the rainbow image from
Genesis, and bringing it to Mark. The sign of
God's covenant from Noah, to the words of God at
Christ's baptism, to time spent in the wilderness
(was there a rainbow?) What helps us to remember
God's promises in our daily lives, what symbol
(like the rainbow) lifts our spirits and helps us
to continue our daily walk with God. When Christ
spent time in the wilderness (a place I have
known) and he struggled with temptations and how
he was to live his life, what helped him to hold
onto his own faith and trust? Angels come in many
ways, to each of us, and we don't always recognise
them. How, through this coming season of Lent, do
we hold on to God's love and bring it into our
daily lives, in the midst of our struggles and
distress, how do we keep the connection?
I have been busy preparing a prayer booklet to
give to each member of the congregation, outlining
the many different ways of prayer and encouraging
them to try them all and find one that works for
them this Lent. As Jesus knew, spending time
alone with God is necessary, but not something
each of us is comfortable with. We each need to
find our own way of being with God, even in the
midst of life.
For me, the rainbow is one of God's angels,
bringing me the message of God's eternal love for
me. I have always loved the rainbow, I have
several around my little house, and they never
fail to make me smile and remember how much I am
loved by God.

Posted by Comments:
February 5, 2018
Thanks Sue ... I too am coming back to the pulpit
after having several weeks of medical leave post
surgery. The experience of being away from my
community has made me appreciate the loneliness as
well as the growing possibilities of being in the
wilderness. The rainbow ... Ah yes! That is so
helpful. Thank you for sparking my preaching

Posted by Comments:
Sam Platts
February 14, 2018
Sue and HS: Your congregations are going to be
especially blessed when you preach. I just read
Quiet Talks With Earnest People, copyright 1898,
by Charles Edward Jefferson. Its still in print.
Its a thrilling book. In one place he tells of a
preacher, the chaplain of Lincoln's Inn, Frederick
D. Maurice, who when he preached everyone sensed
that something different from ordinary churches
was happening. They heard a prophet. Maurice
spoke for God. People never forgot it.

Jefferson says that creating a sermon is easy.
The hard work is the preparation of the preacher's

You two have been preparing your souls with time
away from the pulpit. Now Our Lord is going to
speak through you. Next week Please tell us what
He says.

Posted by Comments:
Rick in Canada, eh?
February 15, 2018
Hi all.

The Spirit "drove" Jesus into the
wilderness. Pushed. Forced, even.

So much for the Spirit being the "holy

And the obvious question is, where is the Spirit
driving US?

And to Sue and HS, welcome back! Just a quick
question for the two of you - Were you in the
wilderness when you had no pulpit, or are you
entering the wilderness now? ;-)


Posted by Comments:
Craig in CT
February 15, 2018
Thanks Rick. I think this is exactly the direction
I could go in light of the shooting in Florida
yesterday. One photo that struck me was of a woman
comforting a girl outside the school. She had a
black cross on her forehead because it was Ash
Wednesday and had obviously been to church. She
brought the cross into the midst of that horror.

Posted by Comments:
Rick again
February 15, 2018
Hi Craig.

I saw that photo, too. Very powerful.

A clear example of Pope Francis', "First you
pray, then you do something about it." She
went into the mess and wept.
Good for her.

May we join her....

Posted by Comments:
February 15, 2018

Posted by Comments:
February 15, 2018

Posted by Comments:
February 16, 2018
So here we are relaxing on the beautiful island of
Grenada. I've always wanted to get to know the
Presbyterian church here. So after years of visits
I made contact with the Presbyterian minister
here. It turns out, I have been asked to preach!
The minister will be away this Sunday. Two things
about the passage: It was Jesus's final exam,
passed with flying colors, he blessed by God for
the work and,second, the message: "God's not
out there, he/she's right here, so turn your mind
around and grasp it, it's really good news."

Posted by Comments:
steve souther
February 16, 2018

"Jesus is re-tracing the steps of Israel's
history in order to re-write her story."
Stanley P. Saunders "Feasting on the

That's it! This is not just the history of a
nation, but of individuals as well. Each claimed
Abraham as their father even though many
generations had passed. The story about their
ancestors was personalized by every Jew.
What happened in the wilderness many years ago,
happened to them.

We know the things that took place in our
youth have a great deal to do with the person we
are now. Traumatic things that happen to a child
can form an undercurrent throughout life--this is
unseen but impacts their decisions or how they
react nevertheless.

Jesus went back to that time and provided a
guide to all who claim the wilderness, offering an
entirely different undercurrent, one that moves
them in the direction established at creation.

Posted by Comments:
rev smith, Lacey IA
February 17, 2018
Some phrases from this passage that jump out at
heavens torn apart - Spirit descending like a dove
voice from heaven
Spirit... drove him out
tempted by Satan
with the wild beast
angels waited on him
repent and believe the good news

Posted by Comments:
February 17, 2018
i'm not sure it was Jesus' final exam, more like
prep- the final was the cross.

The spirit "drove" Jesus into the
wilderness- save verb used for Jesus driving out
unclean spirits and demons. hmm

Is Jesus in the wilderness a metaphor for human
life? Tempted by Satan, with wild beasts and
ministered by angels?

Posted by Comments:
February 17, 2018
here's a "looking through the rainbow"
sermon from "a different heresy

Posted by Comments:
steve souther
February 17, 2018

God delivered the Children of Israel from
bondage, and led them immediately through the
wilderness. I think this was a time of not only
testing but a strengthening for their role in the
promise land. Instead they wandered and
complained, wishing they were back in bondage.

Freedom requires responsibility.

Jesus was driven into the wilderness straight out
of his baptismal waters. Jesus was not only tested
but strengthened as well. "Angels waited on
him." What an image! I think they wait on us
also when we're in the wilderness gaining

Posted by Comments:
steve souther
February 18, 2018
When Jesus went back over the wilderness --imagry
for Israel's past experience, we too much take
that trek over our past as well...
Much as a physical tharepist walks us back to
figure out where our knee joint and foot went off
track.. its a painful process, but one that is
needed to make corrections.

or some such...

Posted by Comments:
February 18, 2018

Posted by Comments:
Sue, Chesterfield
February 18, 2018
Many thanks for your kind words - not sure you'll
come back to read this... but I went with the idea
of Noah being blessed with a covenant by God, and
then having a life free of trials... Jesus being
sent into the wilderness having been blessed at
baptism by God, and then having a life free of
trials... how we are baptised and loved by God and
we have a life free of trials... We wish! I think
what most people said stayed with them, was my
ending when I said that if we believe that God is
with us, then every minute of every day, WE stand
beside God. Gives a different stand on the

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Frank Schaefer for, 2005

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