Peace School - Sunday's story is about Jesus calling the disciples. Symbolizing the 12 Tribes of Israel, the disciples represented a variety of Jewish people of the day. They did not come from the religious schools and synagogues. They did not already come from places of religious authority, government leadership, or military might. They did include a tax collector, a zealot (rebel), and "regular" workers. To the fisherman that Jesus called, he told them they would be fishing for people! For Jesus, the kingdom of God was not about creating a new elite group of people to lead the masses. Instead, Jesus wanted to empower the masses to be part of God's Kingdom on their own. Teachers, soldiers, and kings were not needed as much as leadership that taught people to be with God directly. Rituals and temples were helpful, but they are to remind us of who we are in God, not to make us pay for services to get close to God. Sacrifices are nothing if they do not come from a heart that already seeks God. Temple fees are twisted if they make the priests rich and impoverish the masses. Government means nothing if it occupies, imprisons and kills to keep the same people in power. Government must be for the good of everyone. So Jesus recruits - these disciples. An unlikely bunch to build the kingdom of God and reframe the world view of his Jewish people.
Explore - Here's an activity, "Lent: Cleaning out and creating Space," as we start the season of Lent with Ash Wednesday on March 1, and then continue until Easter Sunday on April 16. Does your family have any practices to observe Lent? Often Lent includes fasting, and an intentional time of aligning our lives with the ongoing ministry of Jesus. How do we continue living peace and working toward Shalom in all of life? How do intentional time of fasting help us (re)focus on God's vision and calling?
Reflect - Learn more about Jesus in the desert and his ministry:
The Disciples, Mark 1:16-45 (Spark 258, Shine 184)
A Storm, Mark 6:45-52 (Spark 286, Shine 212)
Be Humble, Matt. 23:1-12 (Spark 312)
Sheep and Goats, Matt. 25:31-46 (Spark 318, Shine 258)
Peter's Faith, Mark 8:27-38 (Spark 322)
Who is the Greatest? Mark 9:33-37 (Spark 324, Shine 220)
Jesus Blesses the Children, Mark 10:13-16 (Spark 328, Shine 238)
Pray - this season of Epiphany we'll be focusing on Psalm 23. Probably the most well known of all the Psalms.
Jan.-March Young Voices for Peace
March 5 1:30pm YVP Concert at FMC
March 10-12 Annual Winter Retreat at RMMC - contact Rachel B. for details. Registration concludes Feb. 26
May 21 Peace School Finale and potluck picnic