Sunday, November 18, 2018

The Good News

• TwentySixth Sunday after Pentecost. 
with Mark 13 and Hebrews 10    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
This sermon (along with the entire worship service) was broadcast on Facebook Live 11/18/18

• It’s 5 weeks and 2 days til Christmas. 37 days. And Christmas stuff has been in the mall for two weeks already. And songs. And Adam K’s favorite Hallmark movies.
I am excited that next Sun is Christ the King Sunday
and then Advent, and then we start all over again.
We are people of one story.
John Wesley strived to be a man of one book, homo unius libri,
I love to tell the story of Jesus and his love.
• But how is the story Good News? and why do we keep telling the one story?
What impact does that story have on our lives?
• The Good News provides sustenance, nourishment.
Feeds the soul.
• It provides hope. Not hope of escape, afterlife reward (though that is part of it) but hope of newness of life, reconciliation, release from the guilt and the power of sin.
• Sustenance and hope and joy. My parents have been married 53 years. That brings me joy. Joy in relationships, knowledge not alone and that forces of darkness do not win.
• In the OT God provided system of sacrifice and eventually Temple as means of atonement for sin. Something of most value. And set aside one person (high priest) from group of set aside people (Levites) to make the sacrifice.
Year after year that’s how it went.
• But Jesus delivered a double-punch to the system, making himself the thing of most value, and taking the role of the priest as well.
And instead of it being an insufficient and temporary fix, Jesus’ sacrifice perfectly covers all sin, once and for all. Jesus opens access to God to all, and that is good news that brings sustenance and hope and joy.
New life now and life to come possible
because of the intercession of Jesus
who did what people and the law could not do.

• Hymn 362 Nothing but the Blood

Mark 13:1-8 (HCSB)
13 As He was going out of the temple complex, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, look! What massive stones! What impressive buildings!”
2 Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings?
Not one stone will be left here on another that will not be thrown down!”
3 While He was sitting on the Mount of Olives across from the temple complex, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign when all these things are about to take place?”
5 Then Jesus began by telling them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and they will deceive many. 7 When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, don’t be alarmed; these things must take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains. ò

Hebrews 10:11-25 (HCSB)
11 Every priest stands day after day ministering and offering the same sacrifices time after time, which can never take away sins. 12 But this man, after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God. 13 He is now waiting until His enemies are made His footstool. 14 For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are sanctified. 15 The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this. For after He says:
16 This is the covenant I will make with them
after those days, says the Lord:
I will put My laws on their hearts
and write them on their minds,
17 He adds:
I will never again remember
their sins and their lawless acts. [Jeremiah 31:33-34]
18 Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
19 Therefore, brothers, since we have boldness to enter the sanctuary through the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way He has opened for us through the curtain (that is, His flesh), 21 and since we have a great high priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. 23 Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us be concerned about one another in order to promote love and good works, 25 not staying away from our worship meetings, as some habitually do, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day drawing near. ò