Monday, July 9, 2018

Going about God's Urgent Work: Reflections on Mark 6.1-13 (RCL Proper 14B, 8 July 2018)

Going about God’s Urgent Work
Reflections on Mark 6.1-13

RCL Proper 14B
8 July 2018

Holy Trinity Cathedral
New Westminster BC

Here are my notes for Sunday's sermon.

Mark 6.1-13

            6.1[Jesus] left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him.  2On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded.  They said, “Where did this man get all this?  What is this wisdom that has been given to him?  What deeds of power are being done by his hands!  3Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?”  And they took offense at him.  4Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.”  5And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.  6And he was amazed at their unbelief.

            Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.  8He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.  10He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.  11If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.”  12So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent.  13They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

1)    In today’s gospel Jesus gives us a pattern for our own ministry.

a)    He focuses on what he thinks is most urgent:  healing and reconciliation.
b)    He identifies his role:  identifying, commissioning and empowering his disciples as co-workers.
c)    He knows his gifts as the Beloved of God.
d)    He chooses partners to share in his work:  the disciples and apostles.

2)    What do you think is the most urgent work God is doing in the world today?

a)    God is at work.
b)    God’s work is not hidden.
c)    It is a public work for the common good:  Service, Worship, Evangelism, Education, Pastoral Care.

3)    What is your role in this work?

a)    If you name the work, then it is God who has laid it on your heart.
b)    If you name the work, then it is God who is inviting you to act --- where and as you can.

4)    What gifts do you bring to this work?

a)    No one whom God calls is without gifts to use in this work.
b)    Time, talent, treasure?
c)    Knowledge, skills, experience?

5)    Who are your likely partners in this work?

a)    Jesus wisely sends out the disciples two by two.
b)    Draw the circle wide.

O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only knowing that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

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