The Gospel of Mark was
the first Gospel written.
Luke writes that he knew
of other accounts of Jesus
that proceeded him (Luke
1:2). Mark was very likely
one of those sources.
Mark is the shortest of the
Gospels, focusing heavily
of the cross of Christ.
Mark does not record the birth of Jesus or any of the experiences of the risen
Jesus and the disciples. He is focused on the cross and what it means. The
unimaginable sacrifice of grace brought life, peace, and forgiveness. In our text for
Sunday, Jesus challenges the disciples to understand that you can save your life by
losing it. This news was not well received by the disciples.
When Jesus asked him who he was, Peter answered “You are the Messiah.” Their
hope was that as the Messiah’s assistants, they could sit at the right and left hand
of a kingly Jesus and rule with him. Other people would “do” for them. It was
news to them that they were being called to “do” for others. Just as Jesus would
“do” for others by sacrificing himself.
Many of you know that I was gone this past week to Missouri visiting my mother
for her 100th birthday celebration. We chose a time when all her children and
grandchildren were able to attend, and they were all there. We had KC BBQ,
refreshments at the church with slides and music and memories and of course a
cake. As the grandchildren remembered their time, with her, one after the other
remembered her giving nature, the cookies, the soup, the nearby waterpark, the
visits to the zoo, even trips to California. She gave of herself also as a teacher and
wife of a pastor. In the end it was what she gave away that was remembered.
Her children and grandchildren learned the lesson well and everyone pitched in to
make the celebration yet another joyful memory. We were honored to “do” for
the one who had “done” so much for us.
There are times however when it is not easy to “do” for others. Jesus talked about
being “rejected, killed but in three days rise.” It was a sacrifice meant to bring life
and hope to the world. Such sacrifice was a bit more than the disciples bargained
for. Still, in the end, they would give of their lives as well for the sake of the
Gospel. They learned that it is in giving that we receive.
Last week, the thirteen service members who lost their lives helping to evacuate
over 100,000 Americans and Afghans were honored. Their sacrifice was not one
they sought or one we would have wished for them. They gave their lives, as so
many before them have done, for the sake of others.
Mark lived in a time when the Jewish world was falling apart. Jerusalem was
under siege; the temple would be destroyed, and the Jewish people killed or
scattered. Christians were under suspicion and under arrest in many places. The
cross was a symbol the people he was writing to knew well. Mark could have
emphasized only the last portion of Jesus’ words: “rejected, killed, BUT ON THE
He chose instead to emphasize the whole sentence. Certainly, the promise and
hope were there. Jesus was the Messiah after all. But in that moment when the
sacrifice loomed large. He wanted to assure his readers that the sacrifice had its
own worth even without the promise. With the promise it was truly Good News.
Peter saw Jesus as the Messiah during “good times”. The Centurion saw the
Messiah even in the cross. “Truly this man was the Son of God.” (Mark 15: 39) As
a soldier, he had seen the ultimate sacrifice of many. In the innocent suffering of
Jesus, he saw the sacrifice for him.
Lord you came among us to serve, not to be served, and to give your life for the
life of the world. Thank you for those who sacrificed for us. Lead us, by your love,
to follow their example and serve the world. May we be hope for the hopeless,
love for the unloved, and peace for the troubled, and rest to the weary. Amen.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor John Bunge
SUNDAY @ 10 am. live stream and recording available on our website.
Refreshments after services for those present.
We could use additional Readers and Worship Assistants. Call or email Pastor or
Carol if you can assist.
THANKS to Glen Egertson for his leading of worship last week.
CHURCH OFFICE HOURS: This coming Week Monday and Tuesday. September 13
and 14.
INFORMATION: We want to celebrate birthdays and anniversary with you. Could
you let us know your birthdays and anniversaries? Just reply to this email or call
the church office on the dates listed. Also attached is a flyer with emergency
information so the church can assist in difficult situations.
PRESCHOOL: We are opening Monday September 13. Our new Preschool
Director, Heather Uribe is in the office during the week. Spread the word! We
have ten starting and another ten in the wings and room for 28. Those interested
can call the church at 909-790-1816 for tours and more information. Teachers
Dee, Jennifer and Joy are back. We may need to hire additional staff soon.
WOMEN met September 4 and will be meeting the first Saturdays of the month
@ 9:30 am in the Fireside Room for a continental breakfast, devotions, and
prayer. Next meeting October 1.
YOUTH Children’s Church continues. Are you interested in assisting? Let us know
at the church office or give Robyn Blue a call.
Next pantry Saturday, September 11. Thanks to all who are assisting. The pantry
needs Tuna Helper (we’ve got the tuna). Thanks to the Valdez’s for bringing bags.
We moved a step closer to finishing the front. The right half is nearly complete.
We have the left side to go.
Quilting continues 59 quilts 46 lap blankets –vaccinated volunteers are returning.
They will be on display October 10 and 17.
• Pray for Cliff who lost his truck and is suffering from the accident that
resulted from being run off the road. Fred is housing him for now.
• Pray for Eloise Jensen her back pain is unrelenting.
• My sister Marcia is having beast cancer surgery.
• Kim Guevara’s brother and sister-in-law are suffering from respiratory
failure. Her parents both have low oxygen levels.
• Thanks for your prayers for my wife Connie. She continues her recovery
from knee surgery with physical therapy,
• Gerri Witwer is at Highland Care 700 E Highland Ave. in Redlands, CA.
Beloved by her caregivers, she can have visitors for 30 minutes.
• Bill and Judy Martin’s daughter, Laura, who lives in Kansas started her
radiation treatments.
• Motschall’s niece, Linda Odde, with a brain tumor.
• Roxanne Foss’s niece, Ginny.
• erwin for strength and Lynda for healing. I saw him and Lynda last week
delivering eggs to the pantry.
• Continued Godly journey for Brendan, son of Bonnie Strack and Rebecca,
daughter of Michael Shea.
• Cesar Guevara will have a cardiac ablation on Sept. 7. Mike Koger and
Michael Shea will be facing surgery in September as well.