Jesus’ expectations of us

LPUC eNews – Sunday 28th February 2021

In person worship – 10.15am this Sunday.

Everyone needs to register their intent to be present each Sunday with Beryl Bool (home phone 9759 4201, mobile 0405 686 109 or email beryl.bool01@gmail.com). 

Bible readings: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 and Mark 8:31-38   

Today is the second Sunday of Lent.  Lent is a reflective season – an opportunity to go deep within ourselves and focus on our relationship with God and with others.  The forty days of Lent remind us of the forty days that Jesus spent in the desert following his baptism, pondering who he was and what he was to do.  They also remind us of the forty years that the people of God wandered in the desert following the Exodus from Egypt, learning how to be the community of the people of God.      

In today’s Old Testament reading, God makes another covenant.  This covenant – or promise – is between God and Abram.  God promises that Abram and Sarai will have children and land and generations will follow them.  In this covenantal agreement, Abram and Sarai are promised a child, and they, in turn, are called to be “blameless” and faithful to the covenant.  God’s renewed promise results in name changes: Sarai becomes Sarah, and Abram becomes Abraham – mother and father of many nations.  These new names are symbols and signs of new things and new identities with God.  

In all generations and all times, God promises to be faithful and invites our response.  And in the gospel reading this week, followers of Jesus are invited to respond by focusing on the gospel call in our lives.  “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.”  What did Jesus mean when he said, “take up your cross and follow me”

We can find a cross around us; at the front of church, a cross on the wall at home, a holding cross, a cross badge, and a cross necklace.  And some women are wearing a necklace with a cross.  I guess wearing them is one way of saying that I am a Christian.  But, simply wearing them, doesn’t make me a Christian.  We have to live like Jesus.  We have to love God every day and love the people around us even when it gets hard.  Today’s texts invite us to increase our faith and follow in God’s ways.  How do we respond to Jesus’ faithfulness in our time?  IL-WOONG.

From dust we came – Hyper Pixels Media  

Unpacking Genesis 1 – The Bible Project

Easter Invite Squad – The Skit Guys

App Review: Daily Readings (Spurgeon, Ryle & Hymns) – That Happy Certainty

6 Christmas traditions that might be better at Easter – Eternity News  

“Missing God” by Dennis O’Driscoll. (The nostalgia of a secular poet).  

Lent – Return to me – Centreline

John Anderson Direct: with Dr. James Lindsay and Helen Pluckrose  In this interview, John, James and Helen discuss the danger posed by the postmodernist movement to liberal freedoms, the rise of ‘wokeness’, identity politics and cultural Marxism.

Don’t stop playing – Daily Nudge

Agape: Love – The Bible Project

Faith column: God only knows why leaders are chosen – The Age

Prayer illegal in Australia? – Australian Prayer Network

New Victorian law is an attack on fundamental freedoms that puts everyone at risk – Human Rights Law Alliance