Herb Wounded Head, Brookings, SD


Warm-up Question

When was the last time you looked up at the stars or the moon? What sort of feelings do you experience when you did?

Life on Mars

Perhaps you’ve heard of billionaire Elon Musk. He’s an inventor and entrepreneur who founded the electric car company Tesla, as well as the solar energy company, SolarCity and the company SpaceX. Most recently he has been in the news for launching one of his own cars into earth’s orbit on the rocket, Falcon Heavy. Inside of the car is a mannequin wearing one of SpaceX’s spacesuits with the cars sound system playing David Bowie’s song, Life on Mars. The car is hopefully on its way out of earth’s orbit and on its way to Mars.

Elon Musk has big ideas and big dreams. He has a dream to deal with earth’s overcrowding by making it possible for people to live in space, and perhaps even on Mars. He addresses the issue of climate change by creating safe, solar energy that one day may become affordable for all people. Musk is unafraid to challenge the status quo and do things that no one else would dream of doing because of all of the roadblocks and naysayers who say that the things that he dreams up are just too impossible to happen. He has the resources and the wherewithal to do what he can to make the world a better place through technological advancements such as these.

But he also does some pretty silly things. There is literally a car in space, making its way to Mars! That’s just incredible and amazing and kind of silly. He also recently created a flamethrower which generated $10 million dollars for another one of his companies, The Boring Company. Again, this is kind of silly and more than a bit dangerous. In the above article, Musk is quoted as saying about his Tesla flying into space, “It’s kind of silly and fun, but silly and fun things are important.”

Discussion Questions

  • What do you think of Elon Musk’s achievements? Are they silly? Are they important?
  • What sort of silly things do you do to keep yourself grounded?
  • What dreams to you have that may seem impossible?

First Sunday in Lent

(Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year B at Lectionary Readings

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.

Gospel Reflection

In our Gospel lesson, Jesus is baptized, claimed by God, driven out into the wilderness by the Spirit, tempted by Satan.  Then he begins his ministry. That’s a lot to have happen in a few short verses. Other Gospels go into more detail about Jesus’ baptism and temptation, but the Gospel of Mark gets right to the point of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus has important work to do, mainly letting people know that the kingdom of God is present and real in the world and that the kingdom has come to being with Jesus’ work among us.

But the first thing to happen before Jesus begins any of this is that he is baptized and claimed by God. Our ministry in the world begins with our own baptism. Indeed we are all called to be witnesses to God’s kingdom in the world, so we too have important work to do. In the Affirmation of Baptism in the Lutheran church, we make promises in our covenant with covenant God made with us in our baptism including, “to proclaim the good news of God in Christ through word and deed, to serve all people, following the example of Jesus, and to strive for justice and peace in all the earth.”

The season of Lent is a good time to be reminded of those promises as it’s an ideal time to take stock of our lives and to return to serving God’s kingdom in this manner.

To strive for justice and peace in all the earth means a lot of things. It can be serving the poor and the homeless. It can be working at your local bank and doing good and honest business with others. It can be as a student treating your classmates and teachers as people who are important and blessed by God.

It can even be sending a car into space with the hopes of helping humanity in some way. In the Lutheran church, we call this vocation, living out your calling in the world to strive for justice and peace in all the earth. Sometimes it’s grandiose dreams and ideas. Most of the time, it’s in the way we go about our day to day lives as God’s people who respond to the world’s greatest needs by simply being true to ourselves. God has claimed us as His own in our baptisms, and we are truly loved so we can continue Jesus’ ministry to love and care for the world God made.

Discussion Questions

  • How do you live out your baptism? What sort of things do you do to strive for justice and peace in all the earth?
  • What experiences remind you of God’s presence with you?

Activity Suggestions

Now is a good time to make some affirmations of each other in your group. Make sure everyone has a writing utensil and a piece of paper. Have everyone write their names on the top of their piece of paper. Have them pass their paper to their neighbor to the right of them and instruct the group to write one positive thing on the piece of paper about the person whose name is at the top of the paper. This activity works best if you remind the group to look beyond just their physical characteristics, such as, “You have nice hair,” or “I like your shoes.” Help them to look at their personality and other gifts that they might have. If your group knows each other fairly well, have them share the positive statements. Keep these positive statements in your Bibles as reminders of the gifts that they have.

Closing Prayer

God of the heavens, you reach out to us in Your Son and call us Your own. Empower us to dream big dreams and to also do the little things that make Your love known throughout Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.