Sunday reflection: Mark 6:1-13 (From Sermons that Work)
This passage from the Gospel of St. Mark offers revelatory insight into a life of discipleship. As Jesus and his disciples continue their ministry in Jesus’ own hometown of Nazareth, they are met with the breadth of human response to that which is unexpected: astonishment, incredulity, and even antagonism. One might expect a homecoming to be joyful and rich in blessing, but how often have we returned home, changed after a time away, to find ourselves somewhat distant from those who knew us best? Even for Jesus, a life in God’s service (into which he is knit intimately as the second Person of the Trinity) is rife with complexity. Notably, Mark stands alone among the gospels in mentioning that despite rejection, Jesus “laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.” His work continues even amidst unbelief, and the following description of the commissioning of the disciples is thus imbued with particular power. Though the world may refuse them honor, hospitality, or even dignity, they are to go forth, to travel light in companionship with one another, to seek sustenance among this fledgling community of believers, and to persist in the holy work of their beloved Lord.
There is a delicate irony in Jesus’ instruction to the disciples to “shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against” those who do not receive them. Rabbinic literature features the image of shaking the dust from one’s feet as a ritual act of the faithful Jew upon return to Israel after a journey through unclean lands. Jesus has just been rejected in Nazareth. What might this statement mean regarding his own community? Ultimately it is revealed to be true that hardship, uncertainty, and rejection are just as much a part of discipleship as joy, fruitfulness, and peace. In fair weather and foul, the work of the Word continues to heal and to redeem.
- How do we change how we live out our faith based on the circumstances that surround us? Do we remain authentic to who God has called us to be?
- Where do we find hope amidst the hardships of discipleship?
Rector’s Corner:The leadership of our parish council will present a mid-year stewardship assessment. We hope to give parishioners an awareness of our stewardship of time, talent and treasureparticipation in the life of the parish. We also expect that parishioners will continue to support and get involved in our stewardship ministry.
I will also be doing some home visits during the summer. If you wish that I come over and have some time with you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 606-591-8323. I usually offer prayers, reflections and conversationthat may support your spiritual needs.
St. Michael’s Summer Barbecue Potluck Fellowshipwill be on Saturday, July 21, 5:00 to 8:00pm, in the porch area of the Millennium Hall. Invite a friend and family. Share your favourite dish.