SERMON TITLE: “Jesus 101: Jesus & the Gospel”
SERMON TEXT: Mark 1:1-15
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: August 5, 2018, at First UMC
Most school children are still on summer vacation. But I’ve noticed that traffic around school buildings is increasing as administrators and teachers get organized and as students register for classes and extra-curricular activities. I’ve also noticed that notebooks, pencils, crayons, markers, folders, and backpacks are all front and center at Walmart, and clothing stores of various kinds are brimming with youthful fashions. I used to think of September as the back-to-school month, but that’s not true anymore. The first day of classes in the Ogden School District and at Weber State is August 20. Weber School District students begin on August 21, and, even at Utah State in Logan, classes start on August 27.
With that back-to-school reality all around us, I thought it might be good to begin a new sermon series today with an educational motif. Just like first graders review their ABCs, and third graders study the mechanics of multiplication, it’s common in the first year of college to take classes that are numbered 101, meaning the basics of that field of study. If I remember correctly, my freshman courses were things like Psychology 101, Sociology 101, English Composition 101, Biblical Literature 101, Physical Recreation 101, and Greek 101.
So, from now through September, here at First United Methodist Church we’re going to be studying “Jesus 101.” By that, I mean we’re going to review the Gospel of Mark to learn the basics of what Jesus said and did in the first part of his ministry. It stands to reason, I think, that we who call ourselves Christian disciples ought to be well educated about our leader. Thus, our “Jesus 101” syllabus, or learning plan, will include Jesus & Healing, Jesus & the Law, Jesus & Vocation, Jesus & Agriculture, Jesus & Water, Jesus & Families, and Jesus & Status. Today we begin in Mark chapter one with Jesus & the Gospel.