Baby Steps through the Wilderness

February 18, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

1st Sunday in Lent
Genesis 9:8-17; 1 Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:9-15

Listen here:

Some asked me to share here the specific suggestions I offered in my sermon. This is far from an exhaustive list. Be creative. Do what you can. Baby Steps still move us forward. Moving together with others makes the journey richer. God’s speed…

BABY STEP 1: Be an educated VOTER in 2018 and beyond

Next: Call your elected officials, even if you know they don’t agree with you, and ask them to:

  • Designate funds to CDC for gun violence research.
  • Reinstate the regulation that makes it harder for people with mental illness to purchase a gun.
  • Create gun licensing similar to that for cars – competency tests, clear title transfers, insurance, etc.
  • Limit or Ban the purchase of assault style weapons and magazines by civilians.

If you need motivation:

Aaron Feis, 37, Assistant Football Coach and Security Guard;

He died while using his body to shield students from bullets as the gunman opened fire.

Scott Beigel, 35, Geography Teacher and Cross Country Coach;

He was shot and killed when he unlocked his classroom to allow students to take refuge from the gunman.

Christopher Hixon, 49, Athletic Director, Wrestling Coach & Security Specialist

Hixon came from a military family and served in the U.S. Navy. He was killed while patrolling the school’s campus.


Alyssa Alhadeff, 14

She wanted to become a lawyer and professional soccer player, and played on the Parkland Soccer Club

Martin Anguiano, 14

His older brother described him as “a very funny kid, outgoing and sometimes really quiet.”

Nicholas Dworet, 17

He was a swimmer, committed to the University of Indianapolis. He dreamed of making the Olympic Swim team.

Jaime Guttenberg, 14

She was a dancer who was described by her father as the “life of the party.”

Luke Hoyer, 15

He was described by his grandparents as a “good kid” who “never got in trouble.”

Cara Loughran, 14 

She was a beach-lover and dancer.

Gina Montalto, 14      

She was a member of the winter guard and the school’s state-champion marching band. “A kind spirit with a keen sense of humor.”

Joaquin Oliver, 17

He was a hip hop and sports lover who became a naturalized American citizen in January 2017, after moving from Venezuela at the age of 3.

Alaina Petty, 14

She was described as “a vibrant and determined young woman, loved by all who knew her. Alaina loved to serve.”

Meadow Pollack, 18

She was the youngest in her family and enjoyed spending time with them. She had planned on attending Lynn University in Boca Raton.

Helena Ramsay, 17

She was described as “a smart, kind hearted, and thoughtful person… with a relentless motivation towards her academic studies…”

Alexander Schachter, 14              

He played the trombone and baritone in the Douglas’ marching band. Described as “A sweetheart of a kid!”

Carmen Schentrup, 16                  

She was named one of the National Merit Scholarship Program semifinalists in the county. She was also a gifted piano student.

Peter Wang, 15

He was a member of the JROTC. He was last seen wearing his uniform and holding the door open so that people could escape. He had planned on celebrating the Chinese New Year with his family.


Gospel Text:

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”


Sean Rossman, ‘We’re children. You guys are the adults’: Shooting survivor, 17, calls out lawmakers, USA Today Network, USA TODAY Published 1:05 p.m. ET Feb. 15, 2018.

Walter Morris, “Students call for change, stricter gun laws in wake of Parkland shooting,” WSVN-TVSunbeam Television Corp, February 16, 2018

Jonathan Sperling, “Florida school shooting: These are the 17 victims,” NBC News Website, Feb 17 2018, 9:59 am ET.

One Response to “Baby Steps through the Wilderness”

  1. I look forward to these sermons. I missed last week, so was glad for this new post. Yes, we must do something together. I am so proud of the young people, remembering as a black person the system-changing work of young black and white college students who put their lives on the line in countless restaurants in the South for me to be able to eat anywhere today. Jesus says that we must be like children and he thanked God for making His ways known to the childlike rather than to those who think they are wise.

I invite your thoughts and insights.

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