March 2011

Just for Kids

Sometimes it is hard to follow Jesus. Your mom may ask you to clean your room, and you choose not to obey, or you are unkind to another kid at school. Whenever we decide to do what we want to do, instead of what we know we should do, we don't follow where Jesus leads us. There are also times when we disobey, because we care more about doing what we want, than the consequences we will face later. We have been learning about how Jesus is our shepherd, and we are his sheep.

Mark as Gospel: The King's Arrival (11:1-12:12)

At this point in the story, readers tend to get distracted by Jesus’ apparently supernatural foreknowledge. That is not Mark’s point, however. His emphasis falls where it should, given the story’s trajectory to this point: on Jesus’ arrival to Jerusalem as king. He commandeers the colt as would any sovereign, stating directly, “Its Lord has need.” Thus, Jesus enters Jerusalem mounted, as a king should, amid the acclamation of those “going before and following” and the deference of the “many” spreading out cloaks and leafy branches in his path. 

Crossing Cultures: Family

Every culture in the world deals with families. Sometimes it defines who a person is at their very core. Sometimes it merely defines common practices, such as holiday traditions or methods of grieving. Sometimes it defines priorities by conditioning its members to always attend weddings but not funerals, or emphasizing mealtime prayers but not homework assistance. The way culture influences family varies around the globe, but the fact is that families are observably different.

Missionary Mom: Who Is Jesus?

If you have been following Greg’s Mark study, you know that this is the overarching theme of Mark’s story. When we study with most people here, we like to start by introducing them to a man they have heard of but many do not know. I have sat through numerous “Who Is Jesus” studies, but just recently, this “I have been a Christian for most of my life and of course I know who Jesus is” girl has been struck in a different light. God has a way with teaching us new things doesn’t he? Not just new things. He has a way of taking parts of the Bible we have read our entire lives and showing them to us in a new way or maybe an old way (we just were always too hard-headed or immature to read them as we should).