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Summary: In the Book "Winnie the Pooh and the North Pole"; Christopher Robin has organized a band of animals on a journey to the North Pole. It seems to me, that this expedition to the North Pole is symbolic of our culture's quest for the spiritual.

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For those not familiar with an Anglican Service, there are four Scriptures readings before the Message. Today's assigned Lessons are: 2 Kings 2:1-12 Psalm 50:1-6 ; 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 ; and Mark 9:2-9 .;

Children's stories .... Can often bring insight... to greater Spiritual Truths.

In the Book ......"Winnie the Pooh and the North Pole" .....Christopher Robin ....has organized ....a band of animal friends for a journey... to the North Pole.

The preparation for this expedition ....is going quite well ....except for one minor problem...........no one is quite sure ....where the North Pole is located ....or .....what "It" even looks like; not even Christopher Robin ....who proposed .....this grand expedition... to find " It" ....the great ....North Pole. (Pause)

It seems to me ....that this expedition . ....is symbolic .....of our culture's quest....for finding the meaning of life....... for finding "It" .....the spiritual.........our Culture's unknowing quest....... for God.

The world .....is ......in search of something ....yet no one .....seems to know ....what it looks like ....or where it is located.

In our..... meaning hungry, ....spirit thirsty, ..... curious world .....we are flooded .... With men and women .....that are in search .....of the spiritual.

Fundamental ....to the Christian life .....is our call as follower's of the Christ.....to share with the world ......with our culture....that we have the guidebook that tells us.... ....not only where we are going .....but how to get there.

The Holy Spirit...... through Scripture ......provides us .....with a comprehensive map to the...... Quote... "North Pole,".

And today's lectionary text ....in particular .....offers us .....helpful guidance ....in our search ...for an authentic ...to the true answer. (Pause)

Our reading today.... takes place ....late ....in the ministry ....of Jesus.

Now early in His ministry......Jesus selected the twelve .....from A larger group of disciples.

These twelve.... have seen him feed the 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish .....and feed the 4000 with 7 loaves.

They were terrified ......when he calmed the storm .....and they stood in amazement .....as he walked on water.

They listened attentively .....but often with confusion ......as he taught them powerful truths ... to be applied ....to their lives.

They watched the religious .....become increasing agitated ....by his teaching.

They could feel the tension ..... escalating.

They were not certain ....what it all meant .....then Jesus asked Peter..... "The question"...... "Who do you say that I am?"

They all certainly remember Peter's response,...... "You are the Christ, ....the Son of the Living God." ( Mark 8:29 )

They all ....should have been able ...to proclaim those words.

No one.... was able to say it .....with any degree of certainty ....until the impetuous fisherman ....proclaimed boldly the truth.

Yet, .....immediately after issuing a response .....that demonstrates ....his theological brilliance,..... Peter shows his humanness....his shortcomings ..... by rebuking .....the one he called the Christ..... when He spoke of his future suffering and death.

Peter is truly ....a model..... of us all.

In one moment .....he stands as a stalwart of faith..... and in the very next .....he cowers... in doubt.

In one moment ....he walks in courage .... in the next, .....he runs in fear.

In one moment ....he displays wisdom .....but in less than a breath..... unbelief.

This man .....Peter .....shared the same struggles .....that you and I wrestle with .......each and every day. (Pause)

Now the Scriptures tell us that: Six days after his statement of faith, ....Peter joins the sons of Zebedee, .....James and John,... on a short excursion with Jesus.....up a mountain.

Why did Mark mention 6 days.... we nothing is in the Scriptures by accident.

Well, the mention of the number six .....may serve ...a dual purpose ....for Mark.

While it conveys .....a chronological record of time.... .....Six days.........It also holds .... A symbolic value.

In Jewish thought, .....the number six ...represents .... incompleteness.

Mark also may have been making...... a theological statement.

The life of a disciple ......a follower of the Christ....is also incomplete ..... it is never complete......It is an ongoing process.

Throughout our lives,..... we too display.... faith and commitment ....yet also ....foolishness and doubt.

Like Peter, .... We are on a journey.....we have not arrived.

We have no reason .....to be filled with pride for our achievements ....Or.... filled with shame ....for our failures.

We are truly..... a work in progress.

God is not .....finished with us.... Yet! (Pause)

There are truths to be found in our text today.

Beloved......(1 Finger) Our Spiritual Life ....Begins with God.......It is initiated by God.

Six days ......after Peter makes his proclamation of faith ......and ....his statement of rebuke,..... Jesus takes this impulsive disciple.... along with James and John ....up the mountain.

In our take charge .....make it happen world, .....we are uncomfortable .....with the suggestion .....that we ..... are not in control.

Peter, James, and John .....were..... taken up the mountain by..... Jesus.

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