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  • Writer's pictureNat Bothwell

Sermon Outtake: Mark 8:31-38

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

March 7, 2021

Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Slater, Iowa

Pastor's note: below is a sampling of the real thing. For the full sermon, check out Bethlehem's website or YouTube channel.

Jesus’ invitation to Peter [here] (which is his invitation to us all) is to step aside…

to get out of God’s way.

Jesus’ imperative [here] is let go, and to let God be God.

That can be hard to do in practice.

It was difficult then… for Jesus’ closest followers. People like Peter… who had the benefit of witnessing Jesus’ miracles first-hand.

It should come as no surprise that it’s hard for us to do… still today.

To step back. To step aside.

To make ourselves second… to let God be God.

It’s no accident, that this text finds us in the season of Lent.

In this season of turning... in this time of naming all of the ways that we fall short…

the reality of our second nature (sin)...

We regularly attempt to be as Christ rather than followers of Christ.

We’re invited to confront that reality in the journey of this season. And daily, in the waters of our baptism, we’re invited (again) to let go, and to let God be God.

It sounds like a difficult thing at first,

but faith intervenes regularly… doesn’t it?

In us and through us… regularly, we give that stuff up...

in worship… in prayer.

Faith takes up… our needless worry… our restless souls.

Faith takes up… all that we can’t control… or fix… or change… God intervenes in that way, time and again, and we’re reminded of who’s we are, and who holds us all.

God is God, and we are not.

That’s a word of good news [for today].

It’s not up to you to be perfect.

It’s not up to you to have all of the answers.

It’s not up to you to hold it all together...

God is God. You are not.

Jesus invites you and I this morning… to take a step back,

and let the reality of “God with us” sink in.

You have a savior… who has loved you from the very beginning. Who intends to love you eternally, and in the midst of every moment in between.

Lose yourself in that news, my friends.

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