You can get an ‘A’ in Bible and yet flunk Christianity | Clergy Corner – Woodland Daily Democrat

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At a United Airlines check, a man rushed up to the attendant and said … “Quick, I need to get on that plane,” pointing to a visual plane boarding passengers. The attendant said, “I’m sorry, but you need to get in line.”
The man placed his passport on the counter and said, “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”
To which the attendant picked up her phone and, over the intercom system, said: “Your attention, please. There is a person here at counter 14 who does not know who he is. If you are missing a fellow traveler, please contact me at counter 14.”
In Mark 8, Jesus is asking a similar question, only he knows who he is. He’s asking his disciples what other people are saying about him.
Jesus has been busy healing and speaking and feeding people all the while that he and the disciples were heading toward Caesarea Phillippi. He has walked on water, calmed storms, people have been made whole, some on the Sabbath which was illegal, …. and he was essentially kicked out of his hometown… so on the way, he raises the question with his disciples … “WHO DO PEOPLE SAY I AM? I’D LIKE TO GET SOME READING ON WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT ME.”
I think there is a long pause here … they’re not sure what to say … but soon they answer .. “Well… some say you are Elijah … or one of the prophets … even John the Baptist .”
And then comes the $64 question … “WHO DO YOU SAY I AM?”
And Peter is quite right … “He says, “You are the Messiah….” and then as they walk along, Jesus tells them that as the Messiah, he must suffer many things… the rejection by the elders, and even death… yes even
death… and Peter says … “No … no not you. Your good .. you’re a nice guy. You were meant
to deliver us from the tyrants… no one will hurt you …not you, Lord….”
And Jesus says… “Yes me. You don’t really know who I am… You do not have in your mind the thoughts of God …You are thinking like the men of this world … but I will die. I will rise again in three days …. but my kind of messiah-ship means suffering and even death…..”…..and then Jesus says those hard words …. “If anyone wants to follow me, they have to deny themselves and take up the cross … If they want to save their lives, they have to lose themselves by following me and the teachings I share… It’s hard stuff to hear …”
So if there are any reasons to resist the call of Jesus Christ, let me say that I believe there are stronger ones to accept it… In answer to all of our hesitations and objections, God says: “I will be with you.”
And even when that call of God to take up the cross is embedded in the cry of pain and suffering, in return, God gives us our identity ….. so in a world so full, as always, of busy sinners and lazy saints, we are as we love… Love is the name of our journey… It is love that measures our stature …. and there is no smaller package in all the world than a person or a church all wrapped up in themselves.
You see… if Christ is God’s love personified .. the church is God’s love organized. The bottom line of what Mark is talking about is simply … What is worth living for is also worth dying for …
There is no question that the world is full of pain … so the only question is who will find the courage, the imagination, and the grace to respond by taking up the cross and finding life … which you see is why the cross is more of a symbol of life than of death… Does a person or a church gain anything if we win the whole world and lose our soul? Does it make any difference to you?…
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