Jesus Is Self-Sacrificial

JESUS IS SELF-SACRIFICIAL – SERMON RESOURCES

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ENGAGING THE PRACTICAL TIP

We’re in a season of political discourse in our country. But as followers of Jesus, our allegiance is to a King and a Kingdom rather than a President and a Country. While we are in this world, our deaths and resurrections are represented through baptism, meaning that we are no longer of this world.  Our political party is a unique party – championing the lamb above the elephant and the donkey.  And so our questions are not ‘Are we political?’, but rather ‘How are we political?’ Not ‘Are we relevant?’ but ‘Are we peculiar?’ Because all of creation waits and groans for a people of fresh imagination who offer a message of hope.  Like the religious leaders of Jesus’ time, we quickly learn how difficult it is to experience the fullness of life living in division between the Empire and the Kingdom.

This week, as we seek to engage our peculiar ways of engaging in the world, spend some time in the gospel of Mark. In particular, reflect on the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in Mark 11, and the stories that follow. Picture yourself as one of the disciples. How do you feel? Are you hopeful and proud, expecting Jesus to incite a political revolution and overthrow Rome? Are you afraid, seeing the anger and uneasiness that Jesus’ actions sometimes provoke? Or are you a bit confused or even embarrassed, noticing the sideways glances and judgmental stares? Don’t look for the “right answer” here, but instead allow your emotions simply to surface. Now ask for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in identifying areas of your life where you feel similar emotions around following the way of Jesus. Ask for the grace and courage to lean in to the peculiar way of the Kingdom.

Feel free to share your experience with others who have also tried this prayer exercise by commenting below or emailing: spiritual.practices@annarborvineyard.org.

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