SERMON TITLE: “Jesus 101: Jesus & the Law”
SERMON TEXT: Mark 2:23 – 3:6
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: August 26, 2018, at First UMC
My husband Steve and I wanted to watch TV the other night, but nothing good seemed to be on. So I suggested that we go to a cable channel that shows old re-runs of the original “Law & Order.” Luckily for us, we happened upon an episode neither one of us remembered. That’s kind of rare because, ever since that “Law & Order” franchise began back in 1990, it’s been one of our favorites, and we’ve seen a lot of the episodes more than once. Steve and I are familiar with all the detectives and their captains and all the district attorneys and their assistants, and we’ve always enjoyed how they bantered back and forth, taking turns being tough on crime or sympathetic, working out the spirit and complexities of the law in regard to current issues of the day.
I suppose that “Law & Order” style of program has been popular with lots of people because we all need some law and order in our lives. The more uncontrollable, real-life chaos that swirls around us, the more it feels good to see a problem arise, get worked out, and be solved all within one hour. Even if we know it’s fiction, we can dream, right? I once read that ordained ministers like me are more likely than the average person to read mysteries and detective novels because we like the idea that whatever is wrong with the world can be straightened out. We like the belief that justice can prevail and that God’s righteousness will win the day. I suppose that could be true of religious people in general. We like the structure and order of living by the law.
I’m telling you all this because our scripture reading from the Gospel of Mark leads us to our third installment—or episode—in this sermon series on “Jesus 101.” As we’ve been moving through the early chapters of Mark, we’ve already learned two basic principles. On August 5th, we began with “Jesus & the Gospel,” in which we learned that the “gospel” was the good news that Jesus taught and that Christians later preached and wrote about him. On August 12th, we saw that a second basic concept about Jesus was that he demonstrated his good news through a robust ministry of healing. [We skipped last Sunday because the Men were in charge of the service. Thank you, guys, for leading our worship. It was great!] And now, today, we’re back to “Jesus 101,” with an episode I’m calling “Jesus & the Law.”