And They Took Offense
July 02, 2018
By Robert LaRochelle.
Rev. Dr. Robert R. LaRochelle is currently serving as Acting Pastor at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church ( ELCA) in Wethersfield. He holds standing in the Hartford East Association.
Scripture: Mark 6:1-4
He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’
A simple fact about Jesus is one that often gets lost in the world of institutional religion. The fact is that Jesus really bothered some people. It is clear that there was something about the things that he said that challenged so many of their notions of what ‘religion’ is supposed to be.
Quite honestly, as seen so clearly in the words of our Attorney General recently, an interpretation of Christian Scripture which could be and has been used to justify slavery, segregation and many varieties of evil, those of us who claim to be followers of Jesus need to do what Jesus did. WE must challenge interpretations of Christian teaching which contradict the core of what Jesus taught and what He lived!
The teachings and the life of Jesus are powerful. When His life is used to buttress religious claims that, in effect, divide people one from another and justify tearing children away from their parents, we need to find courage to speak up, even if those who cloak acts of evil in the language of religious piety…...even if they take offense at US!
Loving God, we seek the courage to take the teachings of Jesus seriously and to live lives faithful to how He taught people to live. Help us. In His name. Amen!
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prayers of Intercession:
- for the Staff, Volunteers, and Campers at Silver Lake Conference Center as Week 2 of the summer season begins.
- for those suffering after a man with a knife wounded 9 people, including children, at a birthday party in Idaho on Saturday.
- for those with insufficient means to cool themselves in the hot days.
- for safe celebrations of Independence Day this week.
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- for freedom to assemble in order to have our voices heard.
Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:
First Congregational Church, UCC
Prospect Congregational Church, UCC
Congregational Church of Putnam UCC
First Church of Christ Congregational, UCC
Ridgebury Congregational UCC
This Week in History:
July 2, 1964 (54 years ago): President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, prohibiting racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawing racial segregation in public places.
Starting With Scripture:
July 02, 2018