Mark's Memos

Be a Christian

June 23, 2019

The year was 1966, and the esteemed evangelist Billy Graham was planning a series of meetings in the Deep South town of Americus, Georgia.  Unfortunately, they were having no luck finding a local clergyman who would help sponsor the meetings.  The Graham organization, by committing itself to lead only integrated meetings, had made itself unwelcome in some parts of the South.  No local leader wanted to risk the scorn, ostracism, and possible violence of his neighbors.  Finally, a state senator from a neighboring town offered to sponsor the crusade in Americus.  He knew that he might be throwing his political career away, but he believed in the aims of Billy Graham's organization, so he took that chance. 

So, did his courageous actions destroy his chance in politics?  Fortunately, no.  People must have realized that they needed a man of such conviction to represent them.  Billy notes that in only a few years, that principled young senator was elected governor of Georgia.  And in 1977, Jimmy Carter was elected the 39th President of the United States of America.

In a very real sense Jimmy Carter chose to be a Christian disciple in his act of support for Billy Graham’s ministry.  Once we are baptized Christians what does it mean for us to be a Christian?  This Sunday I will be sharing some of my thoughts on what it really means for us modern day Christians to be a Christian, put on Christ, each day of our lives.  This basis for this sermon in our summer series, Be It /Do it, is Galatians 3:23-29,and the sermon is simply titled “ Be a Christian."

I hope you will join me in worship this Sunday as we gather to grow toward the  faithfulness Christ is calling us to live out in the world. 

 

Grace & Peace,

Mark

@peace

June 16, 2019

In his book, An Anthropologist on Mars, neurologist Oliver Sacks tells about Virgil, a man who had been blind from early childhood.  When he was 50, Virgil underwent surgery and was given the gift of sight.  But as he and Dr. Sacks found out, having the physical capacity for sight is not the same as seeing.

Virgil’s first experiences with sight were confusing.  He was able to make out colors and movements, but arranging them into a coherent picture was more difficult. Over time he learned to identify various objects, but his habits‑‑his behaviors‑‑were still those of a blind man. Dr. Sacks asserts, “One must die as a blind person to be born again as a seeing person. It is the interim, the limbo . . . that is so terrible.”

This Sunday is known as Trinity Sunday.  The Trinity (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit) is a gift that helps Christians see the eternal nature of the divine. This week we are exploring peace in Romans 5:1-5.  We see the eternal nature of the Divine through the lens of Jesus.  Jesus' human and divine nature becomes the point of focus which can bring peace from the chaos of dying to our old selves and teach us to see hopefully as Christ followers.

 

I hope you will make time in your summer schedule to join us in worship at church or online. See you Sunday.

Grace & Peace,

Mark

Miss a sermon? Catch up and watch past sermons by clicking HERE. The most recent past sermon will be featured. To see older videos click on the down arrow of the vimeo box in the left corner. 

A Child of God, A Treasure

This week we begin a three week series exploring how to "be." We call it, "Be It!" We will explore how when we can "be" God's best for us, it changes the way we see and understand things of this world.

 

It makes us more.

 In the movie Manhattan, the lead character says to Mariel Hemingway’s character, "You're God's answer to Job.  You would've ended all argument between them.  He would've pointed to you and said, 'I do a lot of terrible things, but I can also make one of these.'  And then Job would've said, 'Eh, okay. You win.'"

We will be take a look at what it means to "Be a Treasure." The message is based on the powerful words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 8:14-17. 

 

What from God’s eternal perspective, makes a treasure? 

Hopefully, we will begin to see the world differently as we seek to be the treasure God sees in us. 

See you Sunday. Grace & Peace!

Mark

DO YOU BELIEVE

YOUR EYES?

June 2, 2019

“I can’t believe my eyes.”

We say these words when we are amazed or shocked by what we are seeing. Maybe someone surprises us with an unexpected gift. Perhaps we bump into a childhood friend on the street.  We might be unbelieving when we open the door to a child’s room and find a mess.

It happens, right?

“I can’t believe my eyes.”

We often use the phrase to communicate amazement or shock, but on a deeper level it is absolutely true.  We really cannot believe our eyes.  Sometimes our eyes deceive us.

There is an experiment about perception and disruption that goes something like what follows. 

 

You show playing card to a group of people and asked them to identify them as they flipped by. Most of the cards were ordinary — red diamonds, black clubs, red hearts and black spades.  But a few of the cards had been doctored, so that the deck contained oddities such as a red six of spades and a black four of hearts.

 

As the cards passed by, the people struggled to make sense of what they were seeing.  Confronted with a red spade, some will say it looks “purple” or “brown.”  Others will be completely baffled. “I don’t know what color it is now or whether it’s a spade or a heart,” or “I’m not even sure now what a spade looks like!”

The experiment reveals how people process disruptive information.  At first people try to make sense of it, saying that the red spades look “purple” or “brown.” Then they get overwhelmed, saying that they do not know any longer what a spade looks like.  As human beings, we like things to fit into familiar categories, and our eyes play tricks on us when they do not.

Eventually, the disruptive is accepted, and someone is finally able to see that spades do not have to be black — that they can actually be red.  “Novelty emerges only with difficulty,” said Thomas Kuhn, the historian of science. After a time of confusion, the old framework gives way to a new one.

This is what happened in Acts 16:16-34 with the story of Paul and Silas and the slave girl.  I think it has a lot to do with happens to us every day of our lives as we seek to live lives as Christ’s disciples in a broken world.

See you Sunday!

Grace & Peace,

Mark

As for the dog at the top ... is it just a dog? Short answer is "no." See if you can find the hidden object. To see what you are missing and how you have been "disrupted" click here.

Rev. Mark Jardine is the Senior Pastor at Chapel Hill United Methodist Church. Born and raised in Bartlesville, he is a graduate of Oklahoma City University and hold his Master in Divinity from the Candler School of Theology of Emory University.
June 9, 2019
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