“Deny Yourself, Take up the Cross, Follow Me” – Lent 2, March 4, 2012

Title:“Deny Yourself, Take up the Cross, Follow Me” – Lent 2, March 4, 2012

Spring 03-04-2012 01We felt spring all around ourselves with daffodils of several colors in bloom and the magnolia in various stages of opening despite a cooler day that it has been in the past. It must have felt even colder to the disciples in Mark in Caeseria Philipip with the first of three predictions of Jesus death. Peter is rebuked for denying the eventual fate of Jesus.  There is a standard pattern -the prediction, Peter’s misunderstanding and the teaching of discipleship. The teaching is three phrases – deny yourself, take up the cross and follow Jesus. It’s the the three phrases that the sermon emphasizes. The readings are here and the bulletin is here

The example was pain in the first phrase – denying yourself – "We respond to the pain in our lives in the same way.  Our first instincts are to fight back, to struggle, to try to save ourselves, and to flee from the pain and suffering, or to try to change painful circumstances over which we have no control. Unfortunately, much of the pain that we face during our lives is unavoidable. Denying it and fighting against it gets us nowhere in the long run."

So how do we take up the cross ? The sermon used the example of Bethany Hamilton, a surfer who lost her arm by a shark. Her story was the subject of the movie "Soul Surfer." Despite the setback she became an inspiration to others in his struggle. "Bethany takes up her cross by deciding to return to competition surfing, because she sees that her example has given courage to so many others who are feeling hopeless about their own circumstances. "

The third phrase in the instruction of Jesus to his disciples is the phrase “follow me.” "She has realized her dream of becoming a professional surfer, and her journey through pain and loss has given her a deep compassion toward others that have experienced pain and loss that has made a difference to the thousands who have found encouragement for themselves from her story." She affects more people than she could ever do by surfing along. She made good of a painful situation.

Stained Glass March 4, 2012

We had 37 today on a day with shifting light, shadows and clouds. It was a penitential service in keeping with Lent with Rite 1, no opening hymn, the Decalogue and the Prayer of Humble Access. We sang "How Firm a Foundation" that has been sung at two Presidents’ funerals.

Birthdays March 4, 2012

We celebrated Becky Fisher and Mary Ann Betchy’s birthday.

Millie Muhly

A special mention was given to Millie Muhly who celebrated the birth of three great-grandchildren in one week!

 Clarence Kunstmann March 4, 2012



Betty, Clarence Kunstman along with Mary Ann Betchy produced a coffee hour of two types of soup – ministrone and a turkey based soup. There were cheeses and cookies and several drinks to complement the soup. 









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