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Choose your Faith

stephenLismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert

Sunday 1st March 2015

7.30am Lismore, 10am Dunoon, 11am Wed 3rd March Lismore

  Choose Your Faith  Mark 8:31-38, Romans 4: 13-25,

This week the gospel reading remind us of the toughest part of responding to the call of Jesus. In the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, when Jesus calls a person to follow him, he calls that person to come and die.” The paradox of the Gospel though, is that it is in dying that we find life!

Today our understanding of the word “faith” is challenged. What becomes clear by looking at the story of Abraham and Paul’s reflection on Abraham’s faith in his epistle to the Romans, is that faith is not about some intellectual assent to certain propositions. Rather, faith is about the losing of our lives, for the sake of the Gospel, which includes both the purpose to which we devote our lives, and the practices by which we seek to live out that purpose.

Peter who has just expressed faith in Jesus, is reprimanded because his faith has not yet embraced the implications of what he believes. Jesus challenges him, and the other disciples, to allow their faith to become the driving cause for their lives. Here faith moves from an intellectual activity to a radical, transforming, all consuming way of being. The challenge of this and our Lenten journey is whether we are ready and willing to embrace this faith, or simple be content to remain with a safer, intellectual pseudo-faith.

 

(Adapted from http://sacredise.com/Lent 2)

 

 

Romans 4: 13-25 God’s Promise Realized through Faith

13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14If it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15For the law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

16 For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of us, 17as it is written, ‘I have made you the father of many nations’)—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become ‘the father of many nations’, according to what was said, ‘So numerous shall your descendants be.’ 19He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21being fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22Therefore his faith ‘was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ 23Now the words, ‘it was reckoned to him’, were written not for his sake alone, 24but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25who was handed over to death for our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

 

Mark 8:31-38   Jesus Foretells His Death and Resurrection

31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

34 He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. 35For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. 36For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? 37Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? 38Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’