"Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return....and that your dust is intimately connected to the dust of all God's creation. We will either perish together. Or find healing and wholeness, and thus life, together."
This sermon is the first part in a series on building community. The Lenten theme at Bethany in 2016 is The Bartimaeus Effect: Jesus Building Community and Calling Us to Follow:
The Bartimaeus Effect
Jesus Building Community and Calling Us to Follow
February 10 - Ash Wednesday: Isaiah 58:1-12
The Community God Desires
February 14 - Sunday School 1: Mark 16:1-8
Back to Galilee
February 17 - Week 1: Mark 1:1-15
Breaking with Business as Usual
February 21 - Sunday School 2: Mark 4
Parables: Kingdom Imagination and Practice
February 24 - Week 2: Mark 1:21-28; 29-31; 40-45
Healing As Communal Restoration
February 28 - Sunday School 3: Mark 8:22-10:52
The Discipleship Catechism
March 2 - Week 3: Mark 5:1-20
The Otherside: The Storms of Kingdom Expansion
March 6 - Sunday School 4: Mark 9:2-13
Jesus Transfigured: The Long View of God’s Building Community
March 9 - Week 4: Mark 6:30-44; 8:1-10
Table Fellowship: Sharing Bread as Communal Transformation
March 13 - Sunday School 5: The Narrative Arc of Mark 11-15
Jesus’ Trial and the Cross
March 16 - Week 5: Mark 10:46-52
The Bartimaeus Effect
Shout out, do not hold back!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2Yet day after day they seek me
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practiced righteousness
and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgments,
they delight to draw near to God.
3“Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?”
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast day,
and oppress all your workers.
4Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.
5Is such the fast that I choose,
a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
6Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
8Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.
9Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
10if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
11The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
12Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.