Start From Whatever Hood Ya Come From

Finding Jesus

because they had been baptized


At that time Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee. – Mark 1:9 (Mark 1:9-13)

Skipper’s Sun grew up in a region always on edge. Centuries of conflict between one sect and ah nudder, between different beliefs, diverse backgrounds and races and loyalties left folks distrustful of one ah nudder. Bandits roamed about. Zealots terrorized folks. Rome ruled, but due ter its distance from seats of power, much of Galilee remained under the control of whatever local militia might ‘ave the most power. Bribes be expected, beatings the punishment fer them who refused. This be the neighborhood the Sun come from.

So when Nathanael asked, “Can any good thing come from Nazareth?” (John 1:46) it be a right fair question. It be like asking if anything good kin come from the slums of Bristol.

But at age thirty, the son of a carpenter sets out from Nazareth with no influence, no followers, no formal rabbinic teaching, and no expectations from others that he ‘ill amount ter anything.

Only a few know him ter be Skipper’s Sun and most dare not speak of it.

Down ter the Jordan River he walks. Thar the Sun finds his cousin, John, calling folks ter repent, confess thar sins, and be baptized. Now the Sun doth not ‘ave ah thing ter repent of. He ne’re committed a sin. Other folks don’ know this, though, so ter set things right from the start, the Sun wades in ter the Jordan ter show that being washed clean of our filthy living be the first step towards turning ter Skipper.

Ah good many folks ‘ill make all manner and excuses fer why they don’ need ter be baptized. Folks bathe. Folks shower. Folks frolic in ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, and sea. But they won’ take a dip fer Skip? Don’ make sense.

Some claim they had water sprinkled on thar head when they was a tiny tot, or they was baptized once, but kin not remember when, or being baptized be an out-dated way of showing ya be a follower of the Sun.

Only think on this: if the Sun, Skipper’s only boy, thought it worth his time ter take a dip, could it not be a thing ya ought ter do as well?

The Sun seen the heavens opening. Now that be an odd thing ter see in it self, but then Skipper’s Holy Ghost of Truth descended upon Him in the way a dove might come ter alight on a branch.

A voice came from the heavens: “You are My beloved Son. In You I m well pleased.”

Kin Skipper say the same ’bout ya? ‘Ave ya done the first things first? Or did ya head off on yer walk with the Sun without taking the steps he took at the start?

We be called ter follow the Sun, not get ahead of him. Walk in the ways he walks. Start at the start. Start from whatever hood ya come from.

If a feller or lass says ter ya, “Ya ‘ill ne’er amount ter anything,” don’ ya believe it fer a second.

Be baptized in ter the Sun and ya ‘ill become Skipper’s child. If ya ne’re do anything else, that right thar be a right fair accomplishment. Take a dip and sail on, brothers and sisters. Take a dip and sail on.

Where ever ya be sailing, that be whar ya ‘ill most like end up. Plot yer course with Skipper and his Sun.

Pirate fact: “Keelhauling” be a form of punishment whar by a length of rope would be tied ’round and under the ship’s hull. the grievous breaker of ship’s rules then be tied ter the rope and plunged under the ship. Back and forth, up and down the feller would go ’till he be drowned dead or cut ter shreds by barnacles. Even pirates knowed thar be punishment fer breaking the captain’s code of conduct. Lubbers might think on this a wee bit when they be tempted ter break Skippers Code of Conduct.

The Word of God Judges the Thoughts and Attitudes of the Heart

Hebrews 4:12 UMC Split

The word of God judges the thoughts and attitudes of our heart

A good many claim we be wrong ter judge another feller. The Sun says as much.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” – Jesus (Matthew 7:1-6)

“I pass judgment on no one. But if I do judge, my decisions are true, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent me.”– Jesus (John 8:15)

“There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.” – Jesus (John 12:48)

But thar be nothing wrong with discerning a matter or the fruit of another feller.  Loving John says as much. “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God.” (1 John 4:1-6)

Thar be a good many from the world and they speak the world’s words. The world and those who follow the world’s ways listens to ’em who preach the world’s ways.

But we be from Skipper. Whoever knows Skip listens ter us and the words of the Sun and Skipper. Whoever not be from Skip does not listen to us, the Sun or his Father. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of lies. The Sun put it this way:

“By a person’s fruit you will recognize those who speak lies. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” – Jesus (Matthew 7:16-20)

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart. An evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” – Jesus (Luke 6:45)

“I have given them your word. And because of your word, the world hates them.” – Jesus (John 17:14)

Get the Sun’s words in you and it’ll change both yer mind, thinking, and heart.

May No One Malign Your Word and Character Due to Our Actions

Titus 2:1-5—Prayers for the Church

May No One Malign Your Word and Character Due to Our ActionsLord, through your servant Paul we are commanded to teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. Therefore, we ask that through your Spirit of Truth you lead us to teach the older men among us to be temperate and agreeable, worthy of respect, and self controlled. May we at all times be sound in faith, in love, and in endurance. 

Likewise, bless us to teach older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanders or gossips, or addicted too much wine. Rather teach what is good and pure so they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, busy at home, kind, and subject to their husbands. 

May no one malign your word and character due to our actions. 

Amen and amen.