Our old saying says, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” The way Jesus said it was “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown” (Mark 6:4). The truth is that the more familiar we are with someone, the more likely we are to take them for granted. Jesus humbled Himself completely, leaving behind all the trappings of heaven, and He became someone so “regular” that the people of His hometown rejected the idea that He could’ve been the Messiah. He wasn’t handsome (Isaiah 53), He had no home (Matthew 8:20), and He sent His followers out with nothing (Mark 6:8). The only thing He had to recommend Himself to us is that He was God in the flesh, which is far more than we need or deserve. And that’s the only thing we need to be able to share Him with others as well. All that matters in the kingdom of God is whether you are bearing the name of Jesus Christ. Then, if people reject you, it can’t hurt you because all they are rejecting is Him.
Watch the full sermon:
Trading Places – Sermon by the Rev. Charlie Holt from The Church of St John the Divine on Vimeo.
This sermon is about another “Mark sandwich” found in chapter 5, verses 21-43. Mark shares the story of Jesus’ resurrection of the daughter of Jairus, and the story is split in the middle with another healing of the woman with the issue in the blood. In both cases, Jesus touches someone who would be considered “unclean.” Rather than being defiled by those touches, however, Jesus brings healing and restoration to the unclean. Jesus’ compassion and power declares worthy and lovable those who society considers “untouchable.” We need to take Jesus’ example and love ALL in our society. We are all loved equally as children of God, and each of us as His followers need to love all equally in His name.
Loving the Untouchables – Sermon by the Rev. Charlie Holt from The Church of St John the Divine on Vimeo.
Often, when we find ourselves overcome by fear, it’s because we have placed our fear in the wrong thing. The disciples in the boat with Jesus when the storm blew in had their fear in the wrong thing, and so they were terrified! If we fear only God, we have nothing to fear from the circumstances that surround us. Listen below to my Sunday morning sermon on the subject:
The Problem with Misplaced Fear – Sermon by the Rev. Charlie Holt from The Church of St John the Divine on Vimeo.
Watch my sermon from last Sunday on Mark 3:20-25. I call it a Mark “sandwich.” The two pieces of “bread” are the segments where Jesus’ family are afraid He is crazy: verses 20-21 and verses 31-35. The “meat” in the middle of the sandwich is where the teachers of the law accuse Him of being in league with Satan: verses 22-30. Jesus’ response in these verses tell us that He is not afraid of being called crazy or evil, because He is confident of what is true, and He knows where His power truly comes from. Examine your own heart and see where your confidence lies. Are you worried that people think you are crazy or wrong? Or are you standing firm in confidence that the power of the Holy Spirit in you is absolutely all that matters?
Crazy with Jesus – Sermon by the Rev. Charlie Holt from The Church of St John the Divine on Vimeo.