Para Vista Lutheran Church

Weekly messages from Good Shepherd Lutheran Church Para Vista Inc

Why are you so Sad? (Audio)

June 27th, 2021

A audio message by Pastor Reid Matthias on 27 June 2021.

Most things about this narrative are confusing from that point onwards. As Rolly described a few weeks ago about Mark sandwiches, there are two involved here, but as we read it with our eyes, it feels like Jesus has been unnecessarily slow in coming to the ruler’s request. ‘Why, Jesus, does it take you so long to respond?’ ‘Jesus, don’t you understand the necessity for haste? My daughter’s life hangs in the balance.’

As do most of us, in the midst of trials and pain, we come to Jesus as a first resort (or last) and push him to hurry. When things turn sour for us, Jesus asks the question, ‘Why are you so sad?’

How is it that you, Lord of the universe, don’t know?

Why are you so Sad? (Video)

June 27th, 2021

A video message by Pastor Reid Matthias on 27 June 2021.

Most things about this narrative are confusing from that point onwards. As Rolly described a few weeks ago about Mark sandwiches, there are two involved here, but as we read it with our eyes, it feels like Jesus has been unnecessarily slow in coming to the ruler’s request. ‘Why, Jesus, does it take you so long to respond?’ ‘Jesus, don’t you understand the necessity for haste? My daughter’s life hangs in the balance.’

As do most of us, in the midst of trials and pain, we come to Jesus as a first resort (or last) and push him to hurry. When things turn sour for us, Jesus asks the question, ‘Why are you so sad?’

How is it that you, Lord of the universe, don’t know?

Why are we so afraid? (Audio)

June 20th, 2021

A message by Pastor Reid Matthias on 20 June 2021.

For the modern reader, this weekend’s biblical text should be frightening. Unfortunately, most of us are delighted that Jesus can speak to the wind and the sea and calm them, like a master telling his dog to ‘sit.’

In Mark’s description of what most commentators call ‘Jesus calms the storm,’ we miss out on the incredible details if we focus entirely on the miracle alone.  These details are important as we approach this text because it gives us context to why Jesus is unconcerned about both chaos and storm, whereas the disciples’ faith is tested by the elements of their fear.

What is your boat journey like right now?  Do you feel like Jesus is asleep in the stern?  What about your church?  Where is Jesus taking us now?

Why are we so afraid? (Video)

June 20th, 2021

A video message by Pastor Reid Matthias on 20 June 2021.

For the modern reader, this weekend’s biblical text should be frightening. Unfortunately, most of us are delighted that Jesus can speak to the wind and the sea and calm them, like a master telling his dog to ‘sit.’

In Mark’s description of what most commentators call ‘Jesus calms the storm,’ we miss out on the incredible details if we focus entirely on the miracle alone.  These details are important as we approach this text because it gives us context to why Jesus is unconcerned about both chaos and storm, whereas the disciples’ faith is tested by the elements of their fear.

What is your boat journey like right now?  Do you feel like Jesus is asleep in the stern?  What about your church?  Where is Jesus taking us now?

A Series of Questions - What is the Kingdom like? (Video)

June 13th, 2021

When my girls were young, they loved listening to stories.  It always amazed me that they wanted to hear the same stories over and over again.  And it wasn’t just a ploy to avoid going to bed!

We loved telling them Bible stories.  And they loved listening.

Why do people of all generations like stories?

Because we are curious.  Stories draw you in.  As you imagine or observe the characters, and the tensions between them, you start wondering how things will work out for them. (By the way, that’s why we sometimes keep watching a dull movie right until the end!)

A really good story or movie gives us something to consider, reflect on, and discuss with others.  As we wrestle with the story, it wrestles with us.  Stories have the capacity to shape and transform us – for better or for worse!

Jesus was a master storyteller. He uses illustrations from everyday life to explain how things are in the kingdom of God.  As we get older, we may have become so familiar with those stories that we no longer listen, reflect, or wonder about its meaning for us today.

When it comes to the stories Jesus’ told, we do well to ponder:

  • What is the main point of the story?
  • What did this story mean for those who first heard it?
  • What might this story mean for us today?
  • If we take this story on board, what needs to change in our lives?

What I still love about reading God’s story is that my story is now part of it.  Fact is we all need to live for a greater story than just ourselves.  The joy of doing life with Jesus is getting to play a part in God’s restoration story for his world.  His story is the only one that has a glorious ending.

Come along this Sunday as we talk about stories, and then unpack two stories that Jesus told.  Who knows…?  It just might change your life.

Joy in Jesus!

Pr Rolly Stahl

A Series of Questions - What is the Kingdom like? (Audio)

June 13th, 2021

When my girls were young, they loved listening to stories.  It always amazed me that they wanted to hear the same stories over and over again.  And it wasn’t just a ploy to avoid going to bed!

We loved telling them Bible stories.  And they loved listening.

Why do people of all generations like stories?

Because we are curious.  Stories draw you in.  As you imagine or observe the characters, and the tensions between them, you start wondering how things will work out for them. (By the way, that’s why we sometimes keep watching a dull movie right until the end!)

A really good story or movie gives us something to consider, reflect on, and discuss with others.  As we wrestle with the story, it wrestles with us.  Stories have the capacity to shape and transform us – for better or for worse!

Jesus was a master storyteller. He uses illustrations from everyday life to explain how things are in the kingdom of God.  As we get older, we may have become so familiar with those stories that we no longer listen, reflect, or wonder about its meaning for us today.

When it comes to the stories Jesus’ told, we do well to ponder:

  • What is the main point of the story?
  • What did this story mean for those who first heard it?
  • What might this story mean for us today?
  • If we take this story on board, what needs to change in our lives?

What I still love about reading God’s story is that my story is now part of it.  Fact is we all need to live for a greater story than just ourselves.  The joy of doing life with Jesus is getting to play a part in God’s restoration story for his world.  His story is the only one that has a glorious ending.

Come along this Sunday as we talk about stories, and then unpack two stories that Jesus told.  Who knows…?  It just might change your life.

Joy in Jesus!

Pr Rolly Stahl

Who is my Family? (Video)

June 6th, 2021

All of us grew up in some sort of family – whether it was with biological parents, adopting parents, a single parent, grandparents, relatives, family friends, or others who raised us.

We have all been shaped by our families. Families have great potential for blessing… or messing. The legacy of our family influences us for the rest of our lives.  If your family has been a place of acceptance, understanding, mutual support, and healthy boundaries, chances are you have a sense of self-worth and confidence.  If your family of origin was dysfunctional, then the wounds can last a long time. This is also true of “church families”.

Jesus was not always understood by his immediate family.  Like when at the age of 12 he had an extended stop-over at the Jerusalem temple (Lk 2).  Or when his brothers bagged him out about getting to Jerusalem to bolster his public image (Jn 7:3-5).  Or when his mother and brothers turned up in Capernaum because they thought he’d lost his mind!

The leaders of ‘God’s family’, the teachers of the law did not know what to make of Jesus.  They treat him with suspicion and hostility.  They constantly find fault with him and accuse him of breaking the law. They label him as a drunkard and a glutton, a friend of sinners, a blasphemer, and as being possessed by the devil!

This Sunday, we see how Mark weaves two stories together where Jesus experiences “family misunderstanding”.  In effect, Jesus ends up asking the question: “Who is my family?”

Jesus’ answer is both simple and profound, revealing and challenging.  Come along to the Good Shepherd family gathering this Sunday: where we come together in God’s name, celebrate what it means to belong to his family, listen to his word, share in the family meal (8:45am), and then live out the grace and truth of Jesus in our families and communities.

Joy in Jesus!

Pr. Rolly Stahl

Who is my Family? (Audio)

June 6th, 2021

ll of us grew up in some sort of family – whether it was with biological parents, adopting parents, a single parent, grandparents, relatives, family friends, or others who raised us.

We have all been shaped by our families. Families have great potential for blessing… or messing. The legacy of our family influences us for the rest of our lives.  If your family has been a place of acceptance, understanding, mutual support, and healthy boundaries, chances are you have a sense of self-worth and confidence.  If your family of origin was dysfunctional, then the wounds can last a long time. This is also true of “church families”.

Jesus was not always understood by his immediate family.  Like when at the age of 12 he had an extended stop-over at the Jerusalem temple (Lk 2).  Or when his brothers bagged him out about getting to Jerusalem to bolster his public image (Jn 7:3-5).  Or when his mother and brothers turned up in Capernaum because they thought he’d lost his mind!

The leaders of ‘God’s family’, the teachers of the law did not know what to make of Jesus.  They treat him with suspicion and hostility.  They constantly find fault with him and accuse him of breaking the law. They label him as a drunkard and a glutton, a friend of sinners, a blasphemer, and as being possessed by the devil!

This Sunday, we see how Mark weaves two stories together where Jesus experiences “family misunderstanding”.  In effect, Jesus ends up asking the question: “Who is my family?”

Jesus’ answer is both simple and profound, revealing and challenging.  Come along to the Good Shepherd family gathering this Sunday: where we come together in God’s name, celebrate what it means to belong to his family, listen to his word, share in the family meal (8:45am), and then live out the grace and truth of Jesus in our families and communities.

Joy in Jesus!

Pr. Rolly Stahl

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