The Living Room: March 2

OPENING QUESTION: 

How do you feel when you find out you were wrong about something or someone? What goes through your head when you find out? Why do you feel this way? 

THE TEXT ??? MARK 10.32???40

James and John thought they understood Jesus and what he had come to do. They ask him for what they think are the two highest honors in Christ’s kingdom, which is to sit on each side of him as he ruled. They thought he was going to be ruling in the normal way. What they failed to understand was that Christ had come to rule over sin, not simply over a city. This is tough to hear about two of his closest disciples; that they traveled so close and yet understood so little. 

I want to use tonight as a launching-pad for two things: reading your Bible and the season of Lent. 

*The importance of reading your Bible is to give access to God to mold you. We often struggle with what a real Christian is or what a true Christian looks like. But until we take the time to hear God in the Scriptures, we will still see very dimly what we are supposed to be in this world. Remember the blind man from a few weeks ago who needed Jesus to touch him again, a second time, before he saw clearly. 

**The season of Lent is your opportunity to engage practices and habits that you may have forgotten or become lazy toward. Because the entire season is preparing for Easter, we have time that is set-aside to be reminded of who Jesus really is. Some of us may discover things about God for the first time; others of us can be refreshed and renewed, breathing in again the sweet aroma that we know is the goodness of God. 

James and John thought they knew all they needed to know about Jesus. They came to him to see if they could reserve tickets to Christ’s kingdom. If he was going to Jerusalem then he was going to reign as king, right? Not to die. So they ask for the best seats in the house. Ground level, right behind the plate, right? But, they didn’t really know because they weren’t really listening. 

This is where reading your Bible, becoming familiar with the story, and listening to God as you take it in is so important. I’m encouraged each time pastor Mark says I hope your brought your Bibles with you this morning. The Bible is like a window into the house of God. Through it we can see much of what is going on inside???the movements, the characters, the scene. Prayer is like hearing what’s on the inside. Through prayer, we are able to get further in touch with what it is that is going on inside. 

This is why Lent is so important, because you have an opportunity to make a focused and concentrated effort on seeing and hearing what is going on in the kingdom of God. You are free to explore what’s going on with you and God. This season is scary and good for one reason: it takes away the excuses we make up to not study the Bible or pray. But, now that you know you have weeks to get back into the life we know we should live, let these next several weeks be a breath of fresh air. 

This time and season is up to you. Will you assume things about Jesus, only to learn that you are not prepared for what is coming? Or will you lean in closer to hear God speak through reading the scriptures and becoming the person God wants you to be? T
his truly is a challenge, one that I hope you’ll accept. Let us accept a life of greater focus and concentration as we learn what it means for Christ to go the cross. May we be aware more often of what Jesus has really done for us, looking closer at what sacrifice means. I pray that by the end of this season we will understand that we are free from the bondage to sin if we will turn and give our hearts to God. Amen. 


Written with Essay on iPad

Rev. Whit R. Martin 
Redwine UMC
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Sent from Whit’s iPad 

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