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09.26.21: The Things We Carry With Us

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Mark 9:38-50

9:38 John said to him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us."

9:39 But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.

9:40 Whoever is not against us is for us.

9:41 For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.

9:42 "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.

9:43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire.

9:45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than to have two feet and to be thrown into hell.

9:47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into hell,

9:48 where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.

9:49 "For everyone will be salted with fire.

9:50 Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."

James 5:13-20

5:13 Are any among you suffering? They should pray. Are any cheerful? They should sing songs of praise.

5:14 Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord.

5:15 The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.

5:16 Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

5:17 Elijah was a human being like us, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.

5:18 Then he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain and the earth yielded its harvest.

5:19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another,

5:20 you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner's soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.

  • Been a lot of fun to talk to folks about their thoughts about one twin here at PH.
  • Understandably frustrated about the live stream, but if you’ve been able to be here it’s been pleasant… folks on balance seen to really enjoy it
  • It’s an intimate, stripped-down space... don't have all the bells + whistles over on the other side of the street, but it had what we needed
  • Not near the organ, or the choir, no Cadillac pulpit… didn’t even need a microphone
  • Sometimes that distilled moment is what we need... clarity in chaos, less confusion, simplicity in a complex world
  • James distills for us life in community together


  • Healing
  • Joy
  • Confession
  • Forgiveness
  • All of these are active, pointing both to God and to the other
  • Community is built through prayer


  • The onus is on the rescuer, not the one being rescued as is the reward
  • Mk helps us the about this more in-depth
  • Not against us is for us/a cup of water
  • Not all who wander are lost
  • This too is the distilled clarity we need
  • It’s easy to look at someone who is out doing the work of the Gospel but not quite how we are and think that they aren’t welcome into the community unless they conform. We shut them off otherwise.
  • But, if people are doing the acts of Healing, Joy, Confession, Forgiveness, than we ought to consider them part of the community
  • Otherwise, are we just tossing up unnecessary stumbling blocks in the way of folks working on rescuing others?
  • There have been far too many who made to feel like they have to be rescued with stumbling blocks instead of being acknowledged as rescuers themselves.
  • Jesus clearly does not mince words about the consequences – it’s because it hurts both us as the other.


  • As we return and keep moving forward, it will be inevitable that people will start to be curious and want to know what this renewed SJPC is all about.
  • It will get busy, complex, disjointed. It won’t be quiet.
  • For us, it will holding on to the central, distilled actions that help us not to forget our fundamental charge.
  • Moreover, it’s taking those distilled actions and reshaping for a world that needs to hear.
  • It also means confessing in our collective hearts when we’ve been more stumbling block than safe harbor.
  • But the true gift of it all is that I can’t think of any other church in Jacksonville who might have the opportunity to speak this so loudly with such a stage… at least not since Channel 4 was up in the balcony.


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