Sermon of February 5, 2012–“Meeting Real Needs”

Mark 1:29-39

29As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

32That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. 33And the whole city was gathered around the door. 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. 35In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” 38He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

This sermon has a couple of sources that need to be highlighted. The introduction is a story that I’ve heard Tony Campolo preach. It appears I got some minor details wrong (I was telling it from memory) but you can read the story here.

The logic behind miracles and the analogy to medicine comes from a lovely little book from a previous generation: “The Work and Words of Jesus” by A. M. Hunter.

And the idea about putting ourselves into the scripture comes from multiple sources: I think I’m creatively (mis-) using Origen, who understood the primary sense of the text to be literal. But I’m also thinking of the Spiritual Practice of praying with the Biblical story that I learned about from a book by Howard L. Rice.

Here’s the message: Meeting Real Needs.