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This Sunday – July 31

I lie every time I sing a certain hymn.

 

And to compound it, it’s one of my favorite hymns.

 

Be Thou My Vision.

 

The third verse starts like this:  Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise.

 

I’m not so in to riches, although I’m sure that I have more than I need, but man’s empty praise. 

 

Hmmm . . . . .

 

Empty?

 

How about fulfilling.  And I’m not a sexist so I will gladly accept women’s empty praise.

 

I find the praise of others very satisfying, thank you.

 

But, herein is the problem.  When I do live for praise I am living as if this world is going to reward me.

 

At the Gathering Church we have been learning about Jesus from the Gospel of Mark.  This week we come to one of the saddest stories that Mark tells us – the beheading of John the Baptist, Mark 6:14-29.

 

This incredibly good and righteous person, the one who prepared the way for Christ comes to a most ignoble end.  It’s a R-rated story of sex, drunkenness and violence when King Herod gets trapped into ordering the execution of someone he knew was from God.

 

Ugh!

 

I don’t know if I should invite you to hear this story or not. 

 

But, I better. 

 

Mark devoted an unusual amount of space to it.  He apparently thought that anyone who wants to follow Christ, who wants to really know God better know about this.

 

What must we learn?

 

This Sunday.