So here's a follow up to last week: if prayer really, truly makes space for God's action in the world, what's up with healing prayer?
Does God heal? How does God heal? Do you need faith? How much faith? Why doesn't God just heal everyone right away? All good questions. Jill and Kevin share some reflections from scripture and their own stories.
Today's sermon is about the big one: why pray? What's the point if children still die, and hurricanes still swallow up cities, genocide ruins worlds, and refugee's have to flee their homes.
Is God good but weak, or all powerful and evil? Because how can he both be good and all powerful?
I (Kevin) haven't wrestled with a sermon like this in... years probably. But after a five year journey I feel like I have something important to share about prayer and what it means to believe "history belongs to the intercessors."
So quick question: have you ever been let down by someone you looked up to? A pastor, mentor, youth leader, parent, or any other “spiritual” role model?
I’m guessing you probably have…
What do we do with that pain and hurt and anger? And how can we move on?
Oh, and Happy National Pretzel Day!
“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”