SERMON TITLE: “Jesus 101: Jesus & Status”
SERMON TEXT: Mark 10:35-45
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: September 30, 2018, at First UMC
Tonight at the Interfaith Concert at the Mormon Tabernacle, I will sit up in the front. Insiders at the Tabernacle call that area “the stand.” The organizers of the interfaith concert want clergy and other faith leaders to be visible at the start of the concert and when the official pictures are being taken. Besides religious leaders, there will probably be some community leaders up there also. Last year, the mayor of Ogden was there, and I sat next to the president of Weber State. I suppose that the concert organizers request the obvious presence of those dignitaries to raise the profile of the event.
In some ways, that kind of attention to status feels weird to me—like, isn’t an interfaith concert about the musicians? What does it really have to do with politicians and even clergy, for that matter? But I also know that we human beings are often motivated by status. Knowing and being seen with people in high places is often useful. Relationships create access and offer opportunities to increase privilege and power. Too much power can be a bad thing in the wrong hands, but a certain amount of status can also be essential to accomplish good things.
In this back-to-school season, we’ve been studying “Jesus 101.” As we’ve worked our way through the early chapters of Mark, we’ve learned about Jesus & the Gospel, Jesus & Healing, Jesus & the Law, Jesus & Vocation, Jesus & Teaching, Jesus & Water, and Jesus & the Multitudes. If you’ve missed any of those sermons and want to catch up, you can always read them on our website. Look under the “Worship” tab, and you’ll find my recent sermons in print. Next Sunday, we’re going to move into an October baseball-themed series to help us with our stewardship drive, and I encourage you all to wear baseball shirts and caps and help us decorate the sanctuary with baseball gear. But, today, in the final sermon in this Jesus 101 series, I invite you to join me in an examination of “Jesus & Status.”