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The podcast where we wonder together about the story of God. We Wonder is a contemplative devotional for children.

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Today is Holy Saturday, and we will finish the gospel of Mark. Yesterday, we left Jesus hanging silently on the cross; it felt like everything had come to an end. But with the Roman centurion, we looked on and confessed, "This really is the Son of God." Today we will go together to his tomb, and see that those words are true. The tomb is empty, and God's resurrection power is beginning to move through the world.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 15:42 - 16:8 โ” WONDER Mark tells us that Joseph of Arimathea has been waiting for God's kingdom. I wonder how he felt now, burying the man who had promised that he was bringing that kingdom? I wonder why he goes to the trouble and the expense? Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome have been following Jesus all the way from Galilee. They have listened to his teaching and seen his miracles; they have made food for him and his friends and helped to care for them on the road. After all this time, I wonder what it was like to stand in front of that tomb and see the stone seal Jesus' dead body inside? Now can I imagine the three women walking in the early morning light to the tomb? It is springtime, and the air is fresh and probably still a little chilly. Maybe their fingers are cold, and they are wondering how they will move the large stone so they can get inside and care for Jesus's body. I wonder if they have slept much in the past few days, and if they have been crying. I wonder how they feel as they go to care for Jesus one last time? I wonder how the women felt in their bodies when they stepped into the tomb? Did they feel a jolt of shock and fear shoot through them? Did they cry, because they couldn't see or touch the one that they loved one last time? Maybe there was a tiny, unbelievable bud of hope starting to open up in their hearts that Jesus really could be alive after all? Mark leaves us all here, standing in front of an empty tomb. We have followed Jesus throughout the season of Lent, and this is where he has led. I wonder if Mark wants us to trust that now it is time to follow Jesus again, out of the tomb and into the brightness of new and unending life? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story that I want to carry with me into the rest of my day?ย  ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Thank you for going into death for us, and rising to live and share your eternal life with us. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today is Good Friday, and our reading is most of Mark chapter 15. It is a long reading, and it is very sad. We will do our best to follow Jesus with our attention, with our imaginations, and with our hearts as he loves us to the very end.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 15:1-41 โ” WONDER No one in this story can see what is really happening. The soldiers make fun of Jesus by bowing down to him, but he really is God's king. People mock him for saying he can raise a ruined temple in three days when they are destroying the body that God will raise. And they say he cannot save himself by coming down from the cross, when he is saving us all by dying there. Right now, can I ask Jesus to help me truly see his love and his power in this story? One person does see. When Jesus dies, the Roman commander can truly see that he is the Son of God. I wonder what this soldier sees, in the sad and broken person on the cross? Can I ask Jesus to help me, as I look up at his cross, to see and believe that he is God's Son, the one who has come to save our world? Jesus is silent in this story until the very end. Right before he dies, he cries out the words of Psalm 22: "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?" And then he falls silent again, and the temple curtain is torn apart. Jesus, the Son of God, loses his connection with his Father so that I can enter into God's presence forever. Can I quietly thank Jesus for his deep love and gift to me right now? The story ends with women who followed Jesus all the way from Galilee. The disciples ran away, but these women stayed with Jesus to the end. Can I ask Jesus right now to help me always follow him, wherever his road will lead? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now, or carry with me into the rest of my day?ย  ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you for going to the cross for us. Thank you for a love that even death cannot break. Help us to trust in that love and follow where you lead, all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
Today is Maundy Thursday, and we are finishing Mark chapter 14. Jesus has been arrested, tried, and convicted. The temple leaders say that he is a false prophet. But as we keep reading, we will see that his hard words to Peter were really true.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 14:66-72 โ” WONDER I wonder if Peter could hear what was happening inside the house, as he stood outside warming himself by the fire? Could he hear the group inside yelling, spitting at, and hitting Jesus? I wonder how that would make him feel, sitting outside and surrounded by the temple guards? I wonder what feeling went through Peter's body when the servant girl stopped, looked at him, and said out loud, "You were also with Jesus!"? Have I ever told a baldfaced lie, like Peter does here? How does it feel to know one thing is true, and to say that it is not? When the rooster crows, Peter remembers Jesus's words. I wonder what it was for like for Peter to see that Jesus knew him even better than he knew himself? How would it feel to suddenly see that Jesus knew, all along, I would desert him? When the rooster crows, it also proves that Jesus's words are true. He is not a false prophet; the accusations against him are lies. I wonder what it was like for Peter to realize this, right after turning his back on Jesus? Has there ever been a time when I did not want someone to know that I, too, have followed and walked with Jesus? What do I want to say to Jesus about that? When Peter realizes that Jesus's words about him were true, he breaks down and weeps. Jesus has to go to the cross alone; we are not strong enough to do what only God can do. Can I sit with Peter in his sadness and his tears, as we watch Jesus go down into death alone for all of us? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
Today is Wednesday in Holy Week, and we are still continuing in Mark chapter 14. Jesus has been arrested, and his friends have all run away. Now his enemies can put him on trial, tell lies about him, and get ready to hand him over to the Roman soldiers to be killed. ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 14:53-65 โ” WONDER Can I take a moment and put myself into this story? Can I look around and see the courtyard at the high priest's houses? Can I hear the crackle of the fire and feel its warmth in the cold, dark air? Who is with me in the courtyard? How do their faces look? What are people saying, as they rub their hands over the flames and wait outside the house? I wonder what was happening in Peter's heart, as he sat outside the house where Jesus was being held? Was he looking toward the bright windows, or shrinking into the dark? I wonder what he hoped for, as he sat outside, listened, and watched? Have I ever been so angry with someone that I wanted everyone else to see how bad they are? Have I ever told a lie to convince people that someone else is wrong and guilty? Have I ever wanted to believe bad things about someone, so I can condemn them in my heart? If so, maybe I know a little bit about how the priests and the rulers on the Sanhedrin felt about Jesus that night. Can I talk with Jesus about that right now? Can I quietly picture Jesus, standing in the middle of the room while people told lies about him? I wonder why he remained silent? I wonder why he didn't fight or argue back? Finally, Jesus says very clearly who he is. And he says that God will prove that he is right and these leaders are wrong: he will be seated, one day, at God's right hand. How do I respond to Jesus, when he tells me who he is?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
Today is Tuesday in Holy Week, and we are continuing in Mark chapter 14. Yesterday, Jesus told his friends they would all abandon him, and he prayed to God asking for the cup of suffering to be taken away. But the answer was no. Now the hour has come, and he will be taken away.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 14:43-52 โ” WONDER I wonder how Jesus's friends felt, when they saw Judas appear out of the darkness leading the crowd? What thoughts might have gone through their head when they realized what he was doing there, and they knew that he had betrayed Jesus? I wonder how Judas felt as he approached Jesus? I wonder if he looked into Jesus's eyes, or if he looked at any of his other 11 friends? All through Mark's gospel, crowds have followed Jesus everywhere he has gone. What feels different to me about this crowd, on this night? What has changed in the story? I wonder how it felt to the disciples to be surrounded by this crowd, in the dark of night outside the city, armed with swords and clubs? Can I imagine being there with them? What feelings might be running through my body? What thoughts might be going through my mind? I wonder how it felt to see Jesus grabbed, hard, by the crowd and arrested? I wonder why this was the moment when the disciples stopped following him? One of Jesus's followers was so frightened that when the crowd grabbed his clothes, he let them rip them away and ran away naked. Can I remember any other times in the Bible when someone was hiding, naked, in a garden? I wonder why Mark includes this part of the story? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
Today is Monday in Holy Week, and we are continuing in Mark chapter 14. Jesus and his friends have shared the Passover meal, and he has told them that his body and blood are going to bring them a new kind of Passover. Now they are going out into the quiet night, up on to the Mount of Olives to pray.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 14:27-42 โ” WONDER Jesus has shepherded his little group of friends all through the gospel of Mark: he calls them together, he teaches them, and he leads them throughout the countryside and down into Jerusalem. I wonder why they will all run away like frightened sheep when he is arrested? I wonder how Jesus's voice sounded when he looked at his friends and said, "You will all turn away?" Jesus tells Peter that on this very night, before the rooster crows to announce the morning, he will say three times that he doesn't even know Jesus, his teacher and dear friend. Can I imagine how Peter might have felt when he heard those words?ย  I wonder why Peter was so sure he would never, ever deny Jesus?ย  Throughout Mark's gospel, Jesus has been in charge: teaching, leading, feeding people, arguing with the temple leaders. I wonder what it was like for his friends to see him so upset and troubled tonight? In Jesus' time, people usually stood up to pray, and they lifted their hands toward the sky. I wonder why Jesus falls on the ground as he begs God to take away the cup of suffering that is coming to him? Jesus's friends are sleepy after a long day and a big meal. I wonder why it is so hard for them to keep watch and stay awake with Jesus, when they can see that he is clearly sad and afraid? Jesus tells Peter to stay awake; to watch and pray โ€” but Peter, and the other disciples, cannot. Right now, can I sit quietly and watch with Jesus? Can I try to stay close with him as I remember the sadness and fear that he went through on that night? What do I want to say to Jesus about what he has done for me? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today is Palm Sunday, the very first day in Holy Week, and we are continuing in Mark chapter 14. It is time to eat the Passover meal, and remember the day when God brought the people out of Egypt and safely through the waters of the Red Sea. Jesus is going to eat with his friends. He is trying to prepare them because soon he is going to pass through the waters of death.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 14:12-26 โ” WONDER Passover is a feast that tells a story. Each of the foods reminds people of how God rescued them from Egypt and brought them safely through the waters of the Red Sea. People eat lamb, to remember the lambs that were killed and the blood that they put on the doorposts, as the Angel of Death passed through Egypt. They eat bread without any leaven, or yeast, because it had to be baked quickly for the escape. I wonder what Jesus' friends were thinking about as they prepared these special foods to share with him? I wonder if they were hoping he would do new and mighty miracles on this Passover, like Moses did long ago? Jesus and his friends met in an upstairs room, out of sight and hidden away, to share this Passover meal. They knew that Jesus had enemies in the city who were looking for him. I wonder what the atmosphere in that room, during that meal was like?ย  Jesus and these twelve friends have been together for a long time now. They have traveled together, talked and prayed together; they have watched Jesus heal the sick, preach to crowds, and cast out evil spirits . Now they are tucked away together in a dangerous city. Can I imagine sitting at the table with Jesus, after all this time, and hearing him say that one of us is going to hand him over to his enemies? How does that make me feel? In this time, people didn't use forks and knives. They used their bread like a utensil, and dipped it into a bowl. As the dish was passed around the table, each disciple was using some bread to scoop out food. Can I imagine how each of them looked and felt when Jesus said, "It is the one who dips bread into the bowl with me?" Jesus uses this Passover meal to tell a new story. His body is going to be broken like the bread, and his blood will be poured out like the wine. I wonder how his death is a new kind of Passover? Long ago, Moses gave God's people the Passover meal, and then he parted the Red Sea waters and led them through into freedom. I wonder how Jesus is like Moses? What is Jesus going to pass through, like the Red Sea, later this week? And will he be able to lead us safely through, too? We still celebrate this meal today, and say the words that Jesus said. Can I look forward, right now, to the day when we will eat bread and drink wine with Jesus in his kingdom? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today we are at the very end of the fifth week in Lent, and we are beginning Mark chapter 14. The chief priests and the teachers of the law are angry with Jesus, and are looking for a way to have him killed. But a woman gives him a beautiful gift, and Jesus welcomes her gesture. He is preparing to die, and she is one of the only people who seems to understand what is happening. ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 14:1-11 โ” WONDER This story happens right before Passover. Passover is the festival that remembers and celebrates the time when God led the people out of slavery in Egypt, and safely across the Red Sea into freedom. I wonder why the chief priests and the teachers are afraid there will be a riot if they arrest Jesus during the Passover festival? In Jesus's time, men and women did not usually sit together at the main table for feasts. They weren't even in the same rooms. I wonder what it was like for this woman to step into a room full of men, with everyone looking at her, and walk straight up to Jesus with her jar of perfume? Mark doesn't tell us what this woman was thinking, or any words that she spoke. Can I put myself into her place? I wonder what she was thinking about, or feeling, as she broke open her jar and poured the perfume over Jesus's head? The perfume the woman brought to Simon's house was very expensive. It was made from a plant grown far away in India, and it cost a whole year's worth of wages. I wonder what moved her to pour this costly gift out, all at once, all over Jesus? Jesus says that this woman poured perfume on his body to get him ready for when he is buried. What a strange thing to say at the dinner table! I wonder if this woman understood the way that Jesus would die, and that there might not be time to care for his body well when it happened? Jesus says that "what she has been done will be told anywhere the goods news is preached all over the world; it will be told in memory of her." What this woman did for Jesus was that important. So I wonder why we do not even know her name? Jerusalem is a city with many twisting alleys, courtyards, and dark corners. It would be hard for the chief priests and their guards to find Jesus without help. I wonder what happened in Judas's mind and heart as he followed Jesus? I wonder why he agreed to help the chief priests find and arrest Jesus? Today is the last day before Holy Week. Each day, Jesus is getting closer and closer to the cross. As I watch him, is there anything I want to pour out to him, to give him, or to say to him? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today is the fifth Friday in Lent, and we are reading the rest of Mark chapter 13. Jesus is warning his friends that the time is coming when the temple will be destroyed. A change is coming in how people will gather to come close to God. And so Jesus's followers need to stay awake and pay attention, so that they are not surprised by the new ways that God will call them to worship and to live. ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 13:24-37 โ” WONDER In yesterday's reading, the disciples admired the beautiful temple; but Jesus told them that it would soon be completely destroyed. Today he remembers a passage from the prophet Isaiah about a time when God destroyed the mighty city of Babylon. When Babylon is destroyed, Isaiah says, God's anger will blaze out; it will be like the sun and the moon going dark. I wonder why it will be like this when the temple is torn down too? In the Hebrew Bible, we can read passages about people from all four directions coming up to the temple to worship. But now Jesus gives us a picture of a new kind of worship: the Son of Man will gather people to himself, instead. I wonder what he wants us to see about how people will come close to God in this new time? Jesus tells his friends that these things will happen while they are still alive. And they do! The temple is destroyed just forty years later. His words are true, and they do not pass away. Can I believe that the words Jesus speaks to me are trustworthy and true, and that they will hold no matter what? But Jesus does not tell his friends exactly when this will happen. He does not give them a date on the calendar. He insists on leaving the right time up to God. I wonder if that was hard for them to hear? Jesus tells his friends to stay awake, and to watch. I wonder why it is so important for them to be ready? I wonder if God is coming to them in a new way, just like the owner of the house? I wonder how they can be ready to welcome God, and the work he will give them to do?ย ย  This part of Mark is about the temple: Jesus is answering his friends' questions about the time when the temple will be torn down. But it is also a word for us today. After Jesus was raised from the dead, he went back to be with God, and we know that he will come to be with us again. I wonder how I can be ready to welcome him, and to long for the day when he will come home and make this world new? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today is the fifth Thursday in Lent, and we are beginning Mark chapter 13. Jesus has come into Jerusalem, and he has shown authority over the Temple and over God's people. What will happen to the temple? What will happen to Jesus? And is God at work breaking in to bring a new age?ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 13:1-23 โ” WONDER In Jesus's time, the temple that Herod built was one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. It was the largest and most impressive building in all of Jerusalem. To help me understand, I think of the most impressive buildings I've ever seen: maybe the US Capitol, or Westminster Abbey, or maybe a giant skyscraper in a great city. I wonder what it was like to hear Jesus say that it would be completely torn down and undone? Jesus's friends want to know when this will happen. When will the building that is the most important place to come close to God be torn down and torn apart? Who will do it? How can they be ready? I wonder how it felt to hear Jesus speak these hard and scary words? Jesus says that terrible things will happen before Jerusalem is invaded and the temple is torn down. He says that these things โ€” wars, earthquakes, famine โ€” are like birth pangs. They the painful things, like strong contractions in a mother's body, that will happen before a new age is born. I wonder what new thing is born when the temple is torn down, and people need a new place to come close to God? Jesus also tells his friends that as this new age comes close, they will also suffer. But he promises that in their suffering, they will tell good news about him to all the nations. I wonder why all the Gentile nations need to hear about Jesus as the one who brings us close to God before the temple is destroyed? Roman armies marched into Jerusalem about 40 years after Jesus spoke these words. Roman soldiers walked into the Holy of Holies, and they carried off the beautiful things inside. To the Jewish people who worshiped there, it must have felt like the end of the world. I wonder why Jesus says that when that happens, people should run away instead of staying to fight and protect the temple? I wonder why Jesus tells his friends all about this ahead of time? I wonder why it is important for them to be ready? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
Today is Wednesday in the fifth week in Lent, and we are reading the rest of Mark chapter 12. Jesus is teaching in Jerusalem, and he continues to show us what God's kingdom is like, and how to follow him as he leads us into God's ways.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 12:28-44 โ” WONDER Yesterday we heard the Pharisees, the Herodians, and the Sadducees all come and ask Jesus questions. They tried to trap him and to trick him. I wonder how this the man who comes to ask Jesus about the commandments is different? I wonder what he hoped for when he came to speak with Jesus? Jesus repeats Moses's words. The first and most important commandment is to love God with all of my heart, my soul, my mind, and my strength. I wonder what my life would look like if I obeyed that commandment fully? Would my life change at all or look different? I wonder if it is possible for me to love God with all of myself perfectly all the time? Does that sometimes feel impossible? Can I talk with the God who loves me and will make me new about that right now? The other most important commandment is to love my neighbor as I love myself. Can I ask God, right now, to show me a way I can do this today? The prophet Jeremiah tells us that a time is coming when God will write his commandments on our hearts. They will be a part of us. Can I ask God to work in me, write these words on my heart, and teach me to love and follow these good ways? After Jesus gave this answer about, I wonder why no one else dared to ask him any more questions? Jesus says that the Messiah, God's chosen king, is the Lord who is even more important than King David. But when this king comes, he does not put himself in an important place; instead, he gives up his life to save people. I wonder how that is different from religious leaders who like to have people listen to them, and to notice and respect them?ย  Can I imagine sitting with Jesus, and watching people put their offerings into a money box? Can I picture the rich people, stuffing the box full of their offerings? And then can I hear the sad clink of the two small coins put in by the poor widow? Whose offering seems like it is the most important, or will do the most good?ย  Can I ask Jesus, right now, to help me see the way that he does? Can I believe that the poor widow's gift is more valuable and important than all of the rich people's money? I wonder if that poor widow can show me something about God? When God comes to us in Jesus, does he hold anything back? Or does he give us all that he has? I wonder how the poor widow can show me something about following God's greatest commandments? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now, or carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
Today is the fifth Tuesday in Lent, and we are continuing to read Mark chapter 12. Religious leaders โ€” both Pharisees and Sadducees โ€” come to challenge Jesus with questions. They want to trick him, and to get him into trouble. But Jesus speaks to them with the wisdom of God.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 12:13-27 โ” WONDER These leaders are asking Jesus a tricky question that can get him in trouble no matter how he answers. If he says you should pay taxes to Rome, then the crowd following Jesus will be angry. They hate the Romans and want them to leave their land. But if he says you should not pay, then he will be in trouble with the Roman leaders. Can I imagine being one of Jesus's friends, listening to the leaders asking him this trick question? How do I feel, as they go to hunt up a coin and I wait for Jesus to respond? Am I nervous to see what he will say? How do I feel when I hear the answer that Jesus finally gives? Mark tells us that when Jesus answers them, the religious leaders are amazed: they marvel and wonder at him. I wonder why that wonder doesn't turn in to love and worship? A picture of Caesar's face is stamped onto his coin. And God's image is stamped on every single person. I wonder what Jesus is teaching us to do, when he says to give back to God what belongs to God?ย  Can I believe, right now, that I belong to God? Can I trust that I bear God's image in a special way in this world? Can I talk with God right now about how I can give myself back to the one who has made me, and who loves me very much? Now the Sadducees come to Jesus with a very different question. If I am one of Jesus's followers walking with him through Jerusalem, I wonder how I feel about all of these different groups coming to test Jesus, one after another? I wonder if I might begin to feel like he was under attack from all sides? The Sadducees are trying to make the idea of resurrection โ€” of God bringing new life out of death โ€” sound silly. If a woman is married to seven men, whose wife is she when they are all raised? They seem to think resurrection is just bringing people back to the life they had before they died. But Jesus says they do not understand resurrection at all. I wonder how their idea of being raised to a new life is too small, or too limited? Resurrection is God's power to re-make all things: our Creator God can even raise people out of death into a new and completely transformed life. I wonder if that is why Jesus tells the Sadducees that they do not understand the power of God? Can I trust and believe right now that God loves me, and loves my world, so much that he will re-make me and re-make the world? Can I hope that just as Jesus is raised from death to a new and transformed life, I will be too?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
Today is the fifth Monday in Lent, and we are beginning Mark chapter 12. Jesus has come into Jerusalem like a king, has acted with authority in the temple, and has been challenged by the temple leaders. Now he will tell us a story to help us understand what is going to happen to him.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 12:1-12 โ” WONDER In this story that Jesus has told, I wonder why the people renting the farm refuse to share any of the fruit with the owner? I wonder why they think they can just keep it all for themselves? I wonder why the renters keep treating each of the messengers so badly? They refuse to give the farm owner some of his own fruit, and they also beat up and even kill the servants that he sends. I wonder why they are so violent against people who serve their farm's owner? I wonder what the farm owner expects will happen when he sends his son? The renters know that the farm they are living on will someday be given to the owner's son, as his inheritance. I wonder what they think will happen when they kill the son? Mark tells us that the chief priests and the teachers of the law know that this story is about them. I wonder how they are like the renters in this story? How are the prophets in the Old Testament like the servants who come to collect the fruit? And where is God in this story? At his baptism, God's Holy Spirit came down on Jesus and everyone heard these words: "You are my Son, and I love you." Jesus has come into Jerusalem like a king, and acted like he has authority there: almost like the place belongs to him! I wonder why they chief priests and the teachers of the law are so unwilling to follow him? The Son in this story is killed. I wonder how Jesus's friends felt, as they heard him tell it? I wonder if they really believed Jesus would be killed too, or if they still hoped he could become King of Israel without suffering or rejection? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today is the fifth Sunday in Lent, we are continuing in Mark chapter 11. Yesterday, Jesus turned over the tables in the Temple and announced God's judgment on it. Now the chief priests and teachers of the law are angry, and they will begin to challenge him in public.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 11:27-33 โ” WONDER Can I put myself, for just a moment, in the place of the chief priests and the teachers of the law? It is their job to oversee and run the temple โ€” and now this man from far away Nazareth has come into town and is acting as though *he* has the authority there. How would watching Jesus's entry into Jerusalem and his actions at the temple make me feel, if I was one of them? I wonder how their voices sounded when they asked Jesus, "Who gave you the authority to do this?" I wonder if it sounded something like, "Just who, exactly, do you think you are?" The very first Temple was planned by King David, and built by King Solomon. True authority over the temple belongs to God's anointed king. I wonder if Jesus is coming into Jerusalem like a king who has been anointed โ€” that is, blessed and chosen by God โ€” but is not yet seated on his throne?ย  I wonder what Jesus's throne in Jerusalem is going to look like? Instead of answering their question, Jesus asks a question right back at the chief priests and the teachers. He asks if they believe that John's work and words really were sent by God. I wonder why this was such a hard question for them to answer? Do you remember when Jesus was baptized by John, all the way back in Mark chapter 1? Heaven was split open, and God's Holy Spirit came down on Jesus, like the oil that is poured over a king's head. I wonder if Jesus is asking the chief priests and the teachers if they can see that he has authority because he is God's chosen king? When I look at Jesus, and all that he has said and done throughout Mark's book, can I trust that he is God's chosen king? Can I believe that he is the one who has come to bring God's good rule to our world?ย  Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
Today is Saturday in the fourth week of Lent, and we are continuing in Mark chapter 11. Jesus has entered Jerusalem, and now he is going to go up to the Temple. I wonder if everyone is watching him closely to see what he will do next? ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 11:12-26 โ” WONDER Yesterday, Jesus came into Jerusalem for the first time. People welcomed him like Israel's king. They sang, "Hosanna: come save us!" and "we welcome God's kingdom"! Now he is coming back into the city, and walking straight up to the Temple. I wonder what people were hoping he would say and do there? Can I put myself in the crowds that might have followed him in to the Temple courtyard? Maybe I am hoping he will teach us, or announce that God's kingdom is here and together we will take our city back from the Romans. But suddenly he begins knocking over tables, and chasing people away. Coins are scattering across the ground; birds are flapping everywhere; there is shouting and animal noises and confusion. How would it feel to see Jesus coming into this holy place and begin to turn everything upside down?ย  Jesus says that the Temple was first built to be a place where people from all nations could come to learn to worship God, but now it is more like a den for bandits. I wonder how the Temple and the practices that were happening there kept people out, instead of letting them in to come close to God? In Jesus's time, "robber's dens" were places where people would gather and plot about how they would rob and fight back against the Roman soldiers in their country. They planned how they would kill the strong outsiders who had taken over their land. These robbers, or bandits, wanted the Temple โ€” and all of Jerusalem โ€” to belong to Israel and Israel alone. Then it would truly be God's kingdom. I wonder why Jesus is so angry about this picture of the kingdom of God? I wonder why Mark tells us the story of the fig tree alongside the story of the Temple? I wonder how the dried up fig tree, that will not provide healthy fruit to people ever again, is like the Temple? Jesus also teaches his disciples to be bold and confident when they pray for God's good kingdom to come. I wonder, when Jesus points to a mountain and says they can pray for it to be thrown into the sea, if he is pointing to the Temple mount? I wonder if his disciples believed then that God really would make a new way for them to come close? I wonder if we can be bold and confident when we pray because Jesus has already accomplished everything we need to come close to God?ย  It can be hard to pray with that kind of confidence. I don't always believe that what I need from God has already been done for me, or that I have already received it. Can I talk with God about that right now? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
We are near the end of the fourth week in Lent, and today we are beginning Mark chapter 11. Jesus has been traveling to Jerusalem with his friends, and when he arrives he is greeted like a king.ย ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 11:1-11 โ” WONDER Jesus and his followers are coming from Jericho to Jerusalem. Jericho is the lowest city on earth: it is about 800 feet below sea level. And Jerusalem is high, high up on a hill! They were walking from a low, dry, dusty and hot place up to the Mount of Olives, and then on to Jerusalem โ€” David's city, and the place where you could come close to God in the temple. I wonder if, as they climbed that hard, hot road, their hearts grew lighter and more excited until they could finally glimpse the walls of theย  Jesus and his followers are coming to Jerusalem for Passover. This is the time when all of God's people celebrate how God saved them and carried them out of slavery and into freedom. Jesus has been talking all along the road about God's kingdom coming close. I wonder what the people following Jesus were hoping he would do for them as he came into the city for the festival? Can I imagine myself in the crowd, as we lay down our coats to make a smooth path for a coming king? How does Jesus look to me, as I see him slowly ride by on the back of a donkey's colt? The words the people shouted were from Psalm 118. It is a song that celebrates God saving his people, and everyone goes up to Jerusalem to celebrate and sing to him. "Hosanna!" means, "God, save us!" and "Blessed is he who comes" means, "welcome!" Can I cry out both of those things to Jesus right now? "Save us, Son of God! Welcome: let your kingdom come in my life!"ย  The people lay down their coats to make a royal road for Jesus โ€” and their coats will be ruined by the dust, the stones, and the donkey's hooves. They wave branches to welcome him in a special way, to come and rule over them and their city. Is there anything I can lay down before Jesus to honor him today? Am I ready to welcome him as the king I will follow?ย ย  After all of this excitement, Jesus comes into the city...and then he looks around a little, and leaves to stay overnight in Bethany. I wonder how his disciples felt at the end of that day? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today is Thursday in the fourth week of Lent, and we are reading the end of Mark chapter 10. A man who wants Jesus to help him keeps crying out, even after other people tell him to quiet down. But Jesus hears him, brings him close, and heals him.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 10:46-52 โ” WONDER Can I put myself in this story right now? Can I feel the hot, dusty air on my face and in my lungs as I make my way along the road out of Jericho? Can I feel myself jostled along by the crowd as we follow Jesus towards Jerusalem? How do I feel as we make our way towards the great city? What am I hoping will happen when we get there?ย ย  Now imagine that I hear the voice of a man, calling out from the side of the road, trying to get this big crowd and all of our excited movement to stop. I look over and see that he is a blind beggar, a man who sits by the side of the road asking for people to toss him a coin. How do I feel about his demand for Jesus โ€” and the rest of us โ€” to stop and help him? I wonder how Bartimaeus felt when he heard that it was Jesus who was passing by? I wonder what he hoped for? I wonder how he was able to believe that Jesus would help him? Bartimaeus yells out loudly to Jesus, and calls him "Son of David." That's like crying out, "Jesus, King of Israel!" But Israel already had a king, and a Roman governor too. I wonder if that was a dangerous name to call Jesus? I wonder if that is why people wanted him to be quiet? Can I imagine being Bartimaeus, with all of the people around me saying "be quiet! hush! stop crying out!"? What would I do, as Jesus and the crowd came close and began to pass me by? How did it sound to Bartimaeus, I wonder, to hear those words: "Cheer up! Get on your feet! Jesus is calling for you"? Can I imagine Jesus looking straight at me and asking, "What do you want me to do for you?" What would I say to Jesus, if he asked me that right now? Jesus gives Bartimaeus his sight. Now he no longer has to sit and beg: he can have a new life; he can see his friends and family; he can be back in the world in a new way. I wonder why he chooses, right then, to join the crowd and follow Jesus on the way he will go? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
We are in the middle of the fourth week of Lent and today we are continuing in Mark chapter 10. Jesus has set his face toward Jerusalem, and he tells his friends a third time what is waiting for him there. But they still don't understand: James and John think that he will become a king in Jerusalem, and will have special places of honor for the friends who have been following him. ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 10:32-45 โ” WONDER Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, and the people who are following him there are amazed and afraid. I wonder what they hoped would happen when they got there? I wonder what they feared? Jerusalem was the city where the Roman soldiers had their headquarters; it was also the city where King Herod ruled. I wonder if Jesus's followers were hoping he would overthrow them all and become the king?ย  I wonder what it was like to hear Jesus say, "No. When I go to Jerusalem, the Roman soldiers will arrest me, and I will be killed?"ย  It sounds like the disciples had trouble believing Jesus was really serious. I wonder why this picture of God's chosen king was so hard for them to understand? Jesus tells James and John they do not know what they are asking for, when they ask to sit next to him in glory. When Jesus does finally sit in glory, up on the cross, there are thieves at his right and left. What do I want to say to God about this picture of a king on a throne, and this picture of glory? Jesus seems to have a very different idea about how to be important in God's kingdom. His ideas are not like our ideas of kings, rulers and important people. Can I talk with God about how I can follow Jesus and his ways today? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now, or carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
Today is the fourth Tuesday in Lent and we are continuing in Mark chapter 10. A man comes to speak with Jesus: he wants to know how he can inherit a place in God's kingdom. Jesus's answer makes him sad, and he turns away. Even the disciples are perplexed.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 10:17-31 โ” WONDER Can I picture the man running up to Jesus, and falling on his knees? He wants so badly to know how to enter into God's kingdom. I wonder what he expected Jesus to say? I wonder what he hoped to hear? When Jesus first answers him, he mentions the last 6 of the 10 commandments. The man knows that he has followed these all of his life. I wonder why following these good rules was not enough to enter into God's kingdom? Jesus looks at him and loves him. Can I imagine Jesus's face as he gazes down at the man? Can I hear the love in his voice as he gives his answer? The first four commandments are: Put God first. Do not build idols or bow down to them. Do not misuse God's name. And keep the Sabbath day holy. I wonder how all of the man's riches were stopping him from keeping these commandments? How does this man look to me as he hears Jesus's words? What do I see, as his face falls and he turns and walks away?ย  I wonder what I would do if Jesus spoke these words to me. Can I walk with Jesus about that right now? I wonder why being rich makes it so hard to enter into God's kingdom, God's good rule, over the world? The disciples are amazed and surprised. Sometimes, we think that people who are rich or successful must be blessed especially by God. I wonder what they were expecting as a reward for following Jesus? These are hard words, especially for those of us who have more than we need. They may feel impossible. Can I hear Jesus's words to me right now: "With people, this is impossible. But not with God. All things are possible with God." Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to talk with God about right now, or carry with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Today is the fourth Monday in Lent, and we are beginning Mark chapter 10. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem, and as he comes back near the Jordan River, some Pharisees ask him a question as a kind of trap. They know that John the Baptist got in trouble for criticizing Herod's marriage, and so they try to get Jesus in trouble as well.ย  ๐Ÿ“– READ Mark 10:1-16 โ” WONDER King Herod was married to Herodias, a woman who had been his brother's wife. She had divorced his brother Philip so that she could marry Herod. John the Baptist said that was wrong, and Herodias was so angry that she had John killed. I wonder if this question about divorce was a dangerous question for Jesus to answer in public, too? I wonder why the Pharisees wanted to test Jesus with this question, in this place near the Jordan River where John used to preach and baptize people? Jesus says that God joins two people in marriage. Marriage isn't just an earthly agreement between two people; it is a promise in which God brings two people together to make something new. In another place, St Paul says that marriage is a picture of how Jesus is united with God's people, the church. I wonder if this is why marriage promises are so important to Jesus? Jesus tells the Pharisees about God's good design for marriage between people, but he also says that people don't always live out this design. Sometimes we break our marriage promises, or someone breaks the promises they made to us. Can I remember that Jesus cares about marriage promises because they picture his promises to us, and trust that no matter what he will never break those promises or leave me? I wonder why the disciples told people to stop bringing children to Jesus? Can I picture them standing between the children and Jesus, blocking the way? Mark tells us that this made Jesus angry. Not frustrated or impatient, but actually angry. Can that be true? Can I believe that Jesus loves me so much that he is angry at anything or anyone that tries to keep me away from him? Jesus says that children are the ones who know how to receive God's kingdom. That kingdom belongs to them, not powerful, busy, important grownups. Can I ask Jesus to show me how to receive God's good rule today? How does Jesus's voice sound to me as he says, "Let the little children come to me. Don't keep them away"? Can I believe right now that he is talking about me, too? Can I make my way towards him, knowing that I am welcome? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to ask God about right now? Are there any words, or pictures, or moments in this story I want to take with me into the rest of my day? ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ PRAY Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen. ๐Ÿ’Œ Keep in touch! You can follow us on Instagram and Twitter @wewonderpod for updates throughout the season, or you can shoot me an email at sarah@wewonderpod.com Thanks so much for listening, and I'll see you tomorrow!
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