Last Place Is First

[From the version for families with children]

Can you imagine being in a race and wanting to take last place?  It doesn’t make too much sense, does it! But Jesus says that the last place in his Kingdom is really the first. 

The world says that getting ahead is the thing to do. Being promoted in a company often makes people proud, for they have lots of people under them that they can tell what to do. Jesus’s disciples get caught in this type of thinking, wondering who is the most important among them in Jesus’s kingdom.  Jesus notices his friends talking quietly among themselves on the road about who is the greatest; they are trying to keep their voice down so that Jesus can’t hear.  

Listen to the strong words of Jesus about all that competition going on—all that selfish thinking that his disciples got into.  What is it about being in the last place in his Kingdom that makes it so important to Jesus?  Who does Jesus use as an example to show what he means? Will you do something this day and this week that will show that you’re catching on to Jesus’s teaching in this reading?

Mark 9:30-37

What are “Bible Breaths”? Learn More…

Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from the Revised Common Lectionary.
In year B, we read from the Gospel of Mark

For all the Firestarters I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information.

The Song of Moses

[from the original version]

This song was intended to fill the air from generation to generation. The image of a rock appears throughout. It tells what would happen if the people go after other gods and serve them. While the song expresses the anger of God, yet deeper still, it sings of the compassion of a God who continues to lure the people into fidelity and love.

The end of Moses is near. He is reminded that he will not be permitted to enter the Promised Land because he complained about the people in Numbers 20:11–13. He failed to acknowledge the goodness of the Lord giving water from the rock to the people.

As you hear this song in your heart with countless others “listening” to it this same day, what kinds of thoughts and feelings come to you? Write them down, so that you will remember.

[Paragraph from the version for families with children]

…Imagine that you are sitting on a great rock that has not moved for hundreds of thousands of years. God is like that—never changing…always there…a place to rest. Make it a high rock so that no enemies can get to you. Enjoy this time of rest. You can always return to God as your rock. Take some time to sense how good this feels.

Deuteronomy 32

Learn about Bible Breaths Learn More…

The Saturday passages follow the reading list that Jewish people use in their synagogue worship
throughout the world. They are taken from
“The Torah,” the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy
that are read each year beginning with autumn.

For all the Firestarters I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information

Palm Sunday in September?

[From the original version]

Autumn has always been a nostalgic time for me—smells, sounds of crunching leaves, fresh pencils and books for a new year of school. This sober, inward season is the setting when our Jewish brothers and sisters celebrate Rosh Hashana (September 7 and 8, 2021). It is a solemn beginning of a new year. Autumn is a season to meditate upon life and to discover the sacredness of time.

We have come to that place in Mark’s Gospel, which is the “autumn,” of Jesus’ earthly life. Jesus will be speaking about the End Times. It is the beginning of the end, which turns out to be a new beginning.

Today we flash back to Palm Sunday as Jesus, your King, rides into the heart of Jerusalem to take possession of God’s Kingdom. Walk beside the donkey.

[Paragraph from the version for families with children]

Jesus enters into Jerusalem in a flurry of glory—not unlike the colors that break out on the leaves before they fall and die.  Think of the branches of leaves that are placed beneath Jesus’s feet.  The crunching of leaves beneath our feet in this season can have us recall that moment of glory as Jesus enters into Jerusalem.  He will be crowned king there–not with a crown of gold, but one of thorns!  And there’ll be a different kind of throne too—the cross! 

Mark 11:1–14

Create your own Bible Breaths Learn More…

Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This year, we generally read
from the Gospel of Mark, this season, chapters 10 to 16.

For all the Firestarters in the original version I recommend the ebook.  You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information.