Sermon Recording- Claiming our Birthright (Genesis 25, Romans 8)

Jacob Sermon Series

Sermon Series – Jacob, Punk to Patriarch
Jacob’s journey to faith and accepting his place in God’s plan is full of schemes, betrayal, and family dysfunction. Yet, in the midst of the mess, God remains steadfast- offering relationship, provision, purpose, and new life. In Jacob’s story, we see our own mess and God’s saving grace for us as well.

Message: Claiming our Birthright
Scriptures: Genesis 25:19-34; Romans 8:12-17
Offered 8/28/16 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida

Jacob is a schemer, an exploiter. He knows exactly how to manipulate Esau in order to get what he wants. He’s stirring up trouble. Cooking up a plan. He’s cut throat. He’s willing to take advantage of anybody to get what he wants, including his twin brother.

Esau is impulsive. He’s short sighted, reactionary, and quite the drama queen. He’s all about instant gratification. He’s gotta have it now. He makes the trade, eats, drinks, gets up, and leaves. Does he even consider the consequences of his choices? Does he even give them a second thought? He’s given up a superior inheritance for a bowl of beans. He’s despised his birthright for a full belly. It’s such a big deal, his descendants aren’t named after him (Esauites), they’re named after the stew, the red stuff, Edomites.

Through Christ, we are offered a beautiful, powerful, everlasting birthright. Beware trading your birthright for something fleeting. Claim your superior inheritance in Christ Jesus.

I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Leon and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.

© 2016 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.

Mark Day 6: A Birthday Goes Bad

If you know the artist of this painting, please let me know so I can give the person credit.

Gospel of Mark Reading Plan
Day 6 Reading: Mark 6

Pastor Lisa’s Journal
The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her.
– Mark 6:26 (NRSV)

Mark 6 is packed with five significant stories.

  • Jesus is amazed by the lack of faith in the people of his hometown. There’s so much scepticism that he could do very little “deeds of power” there. (vs. 1-6a)
  • Jesus sends out the twelve disciples in six groups of two to preach and to heal. They are faithful to the power and responsibility given to them. (vs. 6b-13)
  • King Herod joins others in speculating who Jesus might be. Mark takes this opportunity to show how the weakness of Herod’s character causes the death of John the Baptist. (vs. 14-29)
  • Jesus demonstrates his compassion and power by teaching and feeding the 5000 (vs. 30-44)
  • Jesus demonstrates his power yet again by walking on water and calming a storm. (vs. 45-56)

How is it possible that Herod Antipater was able to accomplish significant building projects and rule for over forty years? From what we see in Mark 6:14-29, he’s an impulsive mess. Herod divorces his wife to marry his brother’s wife, Herodias. Historically, this provokes a war with her father which Herod loses. Scripturally, Herod’s actions bring condemnation from John the Baptist. Herod has John arrested, but keeps him alive for three reasons- 1) he’s afraid John’s followers will riot, 2) he recognizes John as a holy man, and 3) he likes to listen to him. (What!?! Is John like a pet or court jester to him?)

Herod throws himself a lavish birthday party with many influential guests. Herodias’ daughter, referred to as Herodias in the text and Salome in other texts, dances for him.
In art and literature, the dance of the step daughter is portrayed as highly erotic; “pleasing” the impulsive Herod so much that he makes her grand and arrogant promises as her reward.

When her daughter comes to her for advice, Herodias seizes the opportunity to have John killed.  Herodias is a master manipulator out for revenge. Upon hearing the request, Herod is more concerned about what others will think of him than the life of an innocent man. In order to keep face, he has John executed and presents his severed head to Herodias on a platter. He later wonders if Jesus is actually John back from the dead.

Herod isn’t his own person. He is fear-full, weak, easily manipulated, and impulsive. He lacks insight, a teachable spirit, and the ability to consider the consequences of
his choices. John preaches truth to Herod, yet he remains untouched.

Holy One, your word provides us examples to follow and examples to avoid. You do not sugarcoat life, nor the consequences of foolish choices. Grant me a teachable spirit and the strength to live a faithful life, no matter the cost. In Jesus’ Name I trust and pray. Amen.


For more information on the Gospel of Mark Reading Plan, click here

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