Our theme today is stewardship. We’ll ask what it is, where a spirit of generosity comes from, how we can grow in it, why it matters, and what’s at stake for a church of generous givers–or one that’s not.
We are taking time this Lent with each of the temptations of Jesus. One Sunday, we felt after what can happen when, like Jesus, though we hunger, we wait upon the Lord to receive what is given.
Today, the devil takes Jesus to Jerusalem and places him on the pinnacle of the temple. Notice that Jesus has no power over what is done to his own body . . .
To humble you and test you. . . by letting you hunger. Have you been there? Have you not been there? Who is “you” anyway?
Mark calls Jesus Son of God. But here Jesus comes onto the scene already a grown man. No shepherds, no kings, no angels, no star, no story at all. Neither Mary nor Joseph are ever mentioned by name in Mark’s gospel. So when does Jesus become son of God? At the baptism in the Jordan,
Could it be more plain that nations yearning to practice only strength, whether financial, legal, military or moral, segregating and oppressing their weak, their workers, their aged, their disabled, their poor, their sick, their least, their lost—that such nations always ultimately lose their bearings and collapse in weakness? Why? Because the human race was not for winning. The human race was for learning how to become humane. Care for what is weak is the core value of the left wing; and all share in its benefits.
Today, we begin a series of sermons which aims to connect our faith in Christ with the fights of our times. Right up to the November presidential election, we will consider many of the vexed conflicts of our civilization around which no moral or political will exists for decision and solution of vast injustices. I do not aim to define “what Christians must believe” about the crises we face, but I do want to claim that your commitment to Christ must issue in a decisive way of seeing our situation . . .