WHEN Bad Things Happen

Pastor Kevin Rutledge - 2/4/2024 10:00 AM

Join us as we explore one of the most jarring narratives found in the Gospel of Mark, where the grim tale of John the Baptist's death disrupts the focus on Jesus's life and works. We ponder the Old Testament echoes in Herod's rash vow at his infamous birthday party and discuss the profound questions it raises about the nature of suffering, particularly when it befalls the righteous. As we grapple with the age-old dilemma of why bad things happen to good people, we share insights on how to reconcile these events with our faith and how they shape our understanding of God's will.

Listen in as we consider the power of sharing our spiritual journeys within the faith community. Hear personal stories of resilience and struggle that highlight the unpredictable nature of life and its challenges, and how these are not reflections of one's spiritual worth but part of a greater narrative. We discuss the importance of communal support and the strength that comes from vulnerability, offering each other paths to redemption and new beginnings. Through this episode, we hope to inspire and uplift, encouraging you to find hope and purpose in the midst of tragedy, and to embrace the transformative power of faith in our lives.


  • First Reading: Amos 7:7-15
  • Second Reading: Mark 6:14-29
View Order of Worship View Message Transcript View Small Group Discussion Guide

This Week's Reading Plan

Day: Reading:
Monday Jesus Seeks Time Away: Mark 6:30-34
Tuesday Feeding the Multitudes: Mark 6:35-44
Wednesday Walking on Water: Mark 6:45-56
Thursday Who Rules the Sea?: Psalm 89:5-11
Friday Healing a Blind Man: Mark 8:22-26
Saturday A Misunderstood Messiah: Mark 8:27-38
Sunday Transfiguration: Mark 9:1-8

This includes only the sermon portion of the service.

Reflections and Caring Conversations

Please use the prompts and prayers below to aid you in your devotions for this week.

  • Morning Prayer: Dear Lord, as I start my day, I ask for the courage to face any adversity that may come my way. Let me find solace in the knowledge that even the righteous are not spared from trials, and may this understanding deepen my faith and compassion for others. Amen.

  • Reflection Question: The sermon invites us to consider the transformative power of God in our lives amidst pain and tragedy. How can Isaiah 43:1-3 serve as a reminder of God's presence and purpose in our suffering, and how have you experienced this in your own life?

  • Evening Prayer: Lord of all comfort, in the quiet of this evening, I seek Your embrace after a day that has tested my spirit. Remind me that my journey is not walked alone and that the shared stories of faith are beacons of light in the darkness. May I find rest in the promise of Your unwavering love and the hope of a new dawn. Amen.

  • Reflection Question: Reflect on the account of John the Baptist's death as described in Mark 6:14-29. What insights can we gain from this narrative about the nature of suffering and the unpredictability of life's circumstances for the faithful?

  • Reflection Question: In what ways can we, as individuals and a faith community, actively participate in the healing process during times of suffering? Discuss practical steps and consider the teaching of 1 Peter 4:10 on serving one another with the gifts we have received.

  • Reflection Question: Consider the sermon's message on the transformative power of God in our lives amidst pain and tragedy. How does this align with the promise found in Isaiah 43:2 about God being with us when we pass through the waters?