I know that Palm Sunday is a week away, but according to the lectionary Jesus is already in Jerusalem. The world is behind him, and the cross lies before him. In that moment, Jesus declares: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” Yes, according to John, this is the hour for which Jesus came into the world. It’s not that Jesus is excited about what lies before him. He confesses that his soul is troubled. He would like for this hour to pass him by, but he’s already crossed the threshold. There is only one way to go and that is forward toward the cross of glory.
In John 3, Jesus invites us to believe and in believing receive eternal life. These ideas are taken up in the concept of salvation. So, what do we mean by the words and concepts? What do they have to do with our lives?
We started our Lenten journey last Sunday with Mark’s brief introduction to the beginnings of Jesus’s ministry. We watched as Jesus was ordained at his baptism, received his orientation in the wilderness, and then returned to Galilee to start preaching the good news of God’s kingdom. That story has moved along quite a bit in our reading today from the Gospel of Mark. Jesus has had some success as a preacher and as a healer. He’s gathered a group of disciples, healed the sick and the injured, fed the multitudes, and he has caught the attention of the people. If Twitter existed back then, news of his exploits would be trending.
Each Sunday we pray: “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” What does this request of God mean? What is this heavenly reality that we seek to experience here on earth? After his baptism and sojourn in the wilderness, Jesus went into Galilee preaching the good news that God’s realm was near at hand? What does Jesus’ preaching mission have to do with you and me? How is this good news?
This morning we celebrate both Christ the King Sunday and Thanksgiving Sunday. We are also bringing in the harvest of our stewardship conversation. During the offering you will have the opportunity to share your estimate of giving cards so that we might celebrate the commitment that we are making as a community to support the ministry of this church.