By Beverly Zink-Sawyer
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Additional info for Abingdon Women's Preaching Annual: Series 3 Year B (Abingdon Women's Preaching Annual)
This sermon was preached at the Vass Presbyterian Church in Vass, North Carolina. This is a small, faithful congregation whose members often wonder if they are valuable. In their struggling, I wanted them to see God’s glory glory that is always lurking beneath the surface. Glory that by the grace of God, they too share. A SERMON BRIEF On the Right Track Sandy Ballard plowed through her day’s errands, head down, eyes vacant. She was preoccupied. More than that, she was dejected, confused, and wondering what to do next.
Like the disciples, we choose to avoid this unpleasant subject. This burden symbolizes an extraordinary sacrifice. Taking up our cross means that we must now “make right” all these errors and mistakes in our past. Taking up the burden of the cross means punishing ourselves, making our lives more difficult, more depressing, more unpleasant. But this is not what Jesus is saying! Jesus is not demanding that we add burdens to ourselves. In fact, when Jesus invites us to take up our cross, he is telling us to unburden ourselves.
This is the same God who spoke creation into being, the same God who told Moses, “I am who I am,” the same God who cried out through the prophets. God speaks. ” Do you hear the echoes of the Hebrew Scriptures? The words “You are my Son” appear in the Psalms (Ps. 2:7), “with you I am well pleased,” and in Isaiah (Isa. 42:1). And the beloved Son recalls another beloved son Isaac, son of Abraham (Gen. 22:2). ” Matthew begins with Jesus’ genealogy, Luke with Jesus’ birth. Only Mark begins with his baptism.