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DFLC Sermon - February 11, 2024 - Pastor Marie Meeks

Grace and peace to you, from God our Father, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Today we fast forward in Mark’s Gospel, from chapter one to chapter nine. But the reading begins in the middle of a story. If the reading had begun just one verse earlier, we would have a much better idea of what is going on here. Mark 9:1 says, “And he said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the Kingdom of God has come with power.’” That’s what is going on.

 

Jesus has taken Peter, James, and John up on the mountain, to show them just what the Kingdom of God looks like. So what is the Kingdom of God? In today’s Gospel, the disciples get a peek of what the Kingdom will be like. And Peter is so excited, he doesn’t want the moment to end. He suggests building shelters or booths in order to capture this amazing event and hold onto it. I can understand where Peter is coming from. Who wouldn’t want to hold onto this glorious vision? But it was not to be. Peter is interrupted in the middle of what he is saying. A voice comes from the cloud that envelops them, “This is my Son, the Beloved; listen to him!”

 

What we missed, when we jumped from chapter one to chapter nine, is Jesus beginning to tell the disciples that he must suffer and die. They must have been shocked. This was not what they expected of the Messiah. They wanted a powerful leader to save them from the Romans. No wonder they had trouble listening to Jesus – especially when they had seen the vision of the Kingdom! Jesus couldn’t stay on the mountain. He had to get back to His mission – sharing God’s love and grace. And that’s what he does.

 

We are blessed, because we don’t have to go up on a mountain to see what the Kingdom of God looks like. We can see glimpses of it, right here on level ground. So what does the Kingdom of God look like? Look around you. No, seriously, look at the people sitting in this place. This is what the Kingdom of God looks like. The Kingdom of God is us. But not just us, of course. The Kingdom of God is present whenever people gather to worship. or care for someone in need, or care for this world we inhabit.

 

The Kingdom of God isn’t a place, it is a way of living. And we understand the Kingdom is already here and not yet fully here, whenever we see both the joy and pain of this world. We live in the Kingdom when we listen to what Jesus says, when we do what Jesus would have us do:  love the Lord our God with all our mind and all our heart and all our strength. And love our neighbor as ourselves.

 

When we gather to worship we hear how Jesus shared God’s love. He healed the sick, fed the hungry, and taught everyone about God’s love. We do Kingdom work when we follow in Jesus’s footsteps. Amen.

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