The Seventh Sunday of Pentecost – Sunday, July 8, 2018

July 8, 2018  

Mark 6:1-13

This is an incredible story.
How disappointed must Jesus have been when he returned to the synagogue in his hometown, only to be rejected?

While with them in worship, Jesus told the people who would have been most familiar with him, the people in his hometown, that he was the fulfillment of the prophecy he had just read to them. Did they say “Yeah! We are so proud of you!”? No.
They took offense.

What was his response to their offense?
When his ministry was rejected by the people who knew him best, rather than let their rejection stop him, or slow him down

JESUS CHOSE TO EXPAND HIS MINISTRY.

Jesus continued his ministry in other communities.
Jesus sent his disciples out, two by two, to share the gospel with people in other places.
Nothing would stop him. He had a mission he needed to complete.  There was work to be done.

 

 

That is the way the gospel of Mark is written.
Brief, short stories pile up, one after the other, no wasted words. Mark had a story to tell, the story of Jesus Christ. Mark presents Jesus as a prophet, a healer, a teacher who went “immediately” from one place to another, in a hurry to prophecy, in a hurry to heal, in a hurry to teach.

You can see the busy-ness in the instructions Jesus gave to his disciples as he sent them on their way:
Take nothing with you except your staff, no bread, no bag, no money…
Wear sandals.
Don’t even bother with another tunic. Take only what you are wearing.
Stay in one house. Don’t try to find something better.
If they refuse to hear you, shake the dust off your feet and move on.

He doesn’t seem to want them to waste time, to waste energy, to waste resources. He wants them to get the job done, then move on.
They were all on a mission. Jesus wanted them to get on with it.

They were birthing the Church.

St. Paul wrote in his letter to the church in Corinth (a congregation he birthed) that God told him “power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). Having heard those words from God, Paul wrote to the Corinthians “Whenever I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

Paul speaks to us through those words. He is telling us:

 

 

You don’t have to have a Master of Divinity with Honors to tell people “Jesus loves you.” You don’t need to be a licensed electrician to let the light of God’s love shine. You don’t need a church building made of strong brick and mortar, with fancy sanctuary furniture and overhead screens to be in a place where people gather in God’s name.

“All we need is love.”

We need love. And determination. And devotion. And commitment. And hearts that are willing to both care and share.

When the light of Jesus shines through his followers, families are created, not torn apart.
When the light of Jesus shines through his followers, children are received with love and honor, not abused and neglected.
When the light of Jesus shines through his followers, people of different races join hands!
When the light of Jesus shines through his followers, people don’t point guns at each other, they hold out their arms in welcome, with hope and trust and respect and love.

This is what the Church is called to do in the time and in this place. We are called to shine the light of love that comes in and through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus loves us. Jesus loves the WORLD.

We need to be servants of that love. That is our mission.

Amen.