Samuel D. Proctor School of Theology

A Lenten Journal: A Pursuit of the Doctrine of Christ (Fourth Thursday)

And Jesus ordered them to tell no one about it, …  Now there had been about four thousand people.  He sent them away and at once, getting into the boat with his disciples, …  Mark 7:36, 8:9, 10

Dr. Alix B. James used to teach seminarians at Virginia Union University to wear simple colored suits and ties when preaching.  The only jewelry we should have on us include a class ring, wedding band for the married, and cuff links if needed.  His point was that we should not draw attention to ourselves, but put the attention on God.

Rev. Evans C. White (@ John Gresham)

Jesus does not seek the praises and attention of the crowds nor the people he heals.  He could have easily made a disciple out of the former deaf-mute and created a small army of the thousands he fed with what could feed only two or three men.  By his very power though compassion he was going to draw crowds anyway.  Speaking truth through love gained him audiences.  But his only role was to do the will of the Father who sent him.  He moves with those who believe in and diligently follow him.

We who preach the Gospel are sometimes tempted to become spectacles rather than servants.  Popularity among people means as much, if not more, than fulfilling the unique calling God has given us.  Let Jesus be our standard.  When our lessons, miracles, sacrifices, and victories surpass his; we should present ourselves as we wish.  Until that time, we must rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us to draw attention to the one who deserves all of it.

Yours in Christ,

Brother Cyprian Bluemood

Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene

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Our Failure In Storms

… “Why are you afraid?  Have you no faith?” Mark 4:40

I want to thank Dr. James Harris of the Samuel D. Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University for reminding me of the need for discipline in crafting sermons.  It is way too easy for bi-vocational pastors like me to get slack about preparing the message.  I also want to thank God that I had sense enough to create A Lenten Journal:  A Pursuit of the Doctrine of Christ.  The consistency is providing me with a body of work I can refer to for my sermons, lessons, and personal worship.  In his Preaching With Transformation in Mind class at the school’s Church Leadership Conference yesterday, we used Luke 8:21-25 as a practice text as he taught and refreshed us on sermon construction.  This text is a parallel to Mark 4:35-41 from which I used for my Second Monday post.  With this said, here is an outline of what I will preach today.

Dr. James Harris (© John Gresham)

Mark 4:40

OUR FAILURE IN STORMS

(Introduction)  Jesus does not fail to overcome the storms in our lives

(Antithesis)  The power of Jesus should have never been questioned in the first place

(Thesis)  The real problem is that we fail to have faith in him in the midst of our storms as we follow him

(Relevant Question)  What should we remember about Jesus so that we can maintain faith and courage in our difficult situations?

(Points)     1.  Jesus sends and goes with us as we do his will (v.35)

2.  Jesus does not send us alone nor in unfamiliar territory (v.36)

3.  Jesus sleeps during storms that we are equipped to handle (v.37)

(Conclusion)  Keep the faith because Jesus will bring us to greater challenges and victories

Clergy and laity are more than welcome to chime in on this.  May you be blessed today and every day.

Your Brother In Christ,

Cyprian Bluemood

Order of Saint-Simon of Cyrene