Seventh Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 14) (Green)
Sunday, July 8th, 2018
Readings 2 SAMUEL 5:1-5, 9-10; PSALM 48; 2 CORINTHIANS 12:2-10; MARK 6:1-13
Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ has taught us that what we do for the least of your children we do also for him. Give us the will to serve others as he was the servant of all, who gave up his life and died for us, but lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Guardian of the weak, turn the place we live into strongholds of your grace, temples of your presence, and citadels of your justice, so that the most vulnerable and most powerful may find peace in the strong name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Revised Common Lectionary Prayers (2002) alt.
God of the prophets, in every age you send the word of truth, familiar yet new. Let us not be counted among those who lack faith, but give us vision to see Christ in our midst and to welcome your saving word. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
Opening Prayers (1997) alt.
Prayer over the Gifts
God of heaven and earth, receive our sacrifice of praise, and strengthen us for the perfect freedom of your service, through our Saviour Jesus Christ.
Prayer After Communion
O God, may we who have shared in holy things never fail to serve you in your world, and so come to the fullness of joy, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
A READING FROM THE SECOND BOOK OF SAMUEL
[THE FIRST LESSON IS WRITTEN IN THE 5th CHAPTER OF THE SECOND BOOK OF THE PROPHET SAMUEL, BEGINNING AT THE 1ST VERSE.]
Then all the tribes of Israel came to David at Hebron, and said, “Look, we are your bone and flesh. For some time, while Saul was king over us, it was you who led out Israel and brought it in.
The Lord said to you: It is you who shall be shepherd of my people Israel, you who shall be ruler over Israel.”
So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron; and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel.
David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years.
At Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months; and at Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years. David occupied the stronghold, and named it the city of David.
David built the city all around from the Millo inward.
And David became greater and greater, for the Lord, the God of hosts, was with him.
HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING TO THE CHURCH.
[HERE ENDETH THE FIRST LESSSON.]
THANKS BE TO GOD. 2 SAMUEL 5:1-5, 9-10
REFRAIN God shall be our guide for evermore.
Great is the Lord, and highly to be praised; in the city of our God is his holy hill.
Beautiful and lofty, the joy of all the earth, is the hill of Zion, the very centre of the world and the city of the great king.
God is in her citadels; he is known to be her sure refuge. R
Behold, the kings of the earth assembled and marched forward together.
They looked and were astounded; they retreated and fled in terror.
Trembling seized them there; they writhed like a woman in childbirth, like ships of the sea when the east wind shatters them. R
As we have heard, so have we seen, in the city of the Lord of hosts, in the city of our God; God has established her for ever.
We have waited in silence on your loving-kindness, O God, in the midst of your temple.
Your praise, like your Name, O God, reaches to the world’s end; your right hand is full of justice. R
Let Mount Zion be glad and the cities of Judah rejoice, because of your judgements.
Make the circuit of Zion; walk round about her; count the number of her towers.R
Consider well her bulwarks; examine her strongholds; that you may tell those who come after.
This God is our God for ever and ever; he shall be our guide for evermore. R
A READING FROM THE SECOND LETTER OF PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS
[THE SECOND LESSON IS WRITTEN IN THE 12TH CHAPTER OF THE SECOND LETTER OF SAINT PAUL TO THE CORINTHIANS, BEGINNING AT THE 2ND VERSE.]
I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows.
And I know that such a person – whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat.
On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses.
But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth.
But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations.
Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated.
Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.”
So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.
HEAR WHAT THE SPIRIT IS SAYING TO THE CHURCH.
[HERE ENDETH THE SECOND LESSSON.]
THANKS BE TO GOD.
2 CORINTHIANS 12:2-10
THE LORD BE WITH YOU. AND ALSO WITH YOU.
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO SAINT MARK.
GLORY TO YOU, LORD JESUS CHRIST.
[THE LORD BE WITH YOU. AND WITH THY SPIRIT.
THE HOLY GOSPEL IS WRITTEN IN THE 6TH CHAPTER OF THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO SAINT MARK, BEGINNING AT THE 1ST VERSE. GLORY BE TO THEE, O LORD.]
Jesus came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him.
On 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!
Is 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 offence at him.
Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honour, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.”
And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them.
And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching.
He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits.
He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.
He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place.
If 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.”
So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent.
They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
THIS IS THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.
PRAISE TO YOU, LORD JESUS CHRIST. [PRAISE BE TO THEE, O CHRIST]
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be always acceptable in your sight, O Lord, our rock and our redeemer.
A friend of mine, Kelly, grew up with Rachel McAdams in St. Thomas. I apparently was in High School at the same time, but don’t recall ever having met her. She’s been in quite a few movies that have done really well at the box office.
Kelly still runs into her periodically, when she comes home to visit her parents. To her, Rachel is just that girl from English class who buys her groceries at the Super Store.
It is hard for any of us to really see Rachel as anything other than the girl next door. We are bit skeptical that anything great can come from our hometown. It turns out that she is from St. Thomas and is in some pretty popular movies. Her mom is known, her sister and brother are around. Like most people her age from St. Thomas, it is also true that she visits her parents and the home she grew up in and still shops at the Superstore. But she holds no special powers at home.
When Jesus returned to his home town of Nazareth, he was met with skepticism and unbelief. I can understand this—no one believes that the boy next door could grow up to be someone important after all we knew him when he was a pimply faced gangly boy. We know his mother, his brothers and his sisters, he cannot be anyone special, and some have even said he is possessed of a demon.
All Jesus could say is that “Prophets are not without honour, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” He was amazed at their unbelief and could do no deed of power except that he could lay his hands on a few sick people and healed them.
It would seem that part of the power of Jesus’ healing required the sick person to believe for the healing process to be successful. Having faith is a requirement. This requirement is also necessary as Jesus begins to send out the twelve disciples to surrounding towns.
Jesus gave very specific instructions.
- The disciples would go in pairs.
- They had authority over unclean spirits.
- Take a staff for their journey, wear sandals, but only one tunic.
- Take no money, no food or no bag.
- When they enter a house, remain there until you leave the place.
- If any place refuses to welcome you and they refuse to hear you, shake the dust off of your feet as a testimony against them.
So the disciples went out and:
- Proclaimed that all should repent
- They cast out many demons
- Anointed many with oil and cured them.
Mark doesn’t tell us how successful the twelve were or how many towns they shook the dust off of their feet but we are given the impression that they were successful.
This was a foretaste of the power of the Holy Spirit being sent to them after Jesus’ death. They were able to receive the Spirit because they believed Jesus’ promise.
The people of Jesus’ Nazareth, did not believe in Jesus, they were not able to understand the divinity of Jesus, they were too close to him. I doubt that any of us would be able to believe in him at that point. How glorious it would be to be able to believe in his power, his divinity. We have the benefit of almost 2000 years of hindsight. We know how the story ends. We know the beginning of the faith, the resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Spirit. The grace that God gives to us even though we do not deserve it – we are graced by God because God loves us and for no other reason.
We are given the opportunity to call on the Grace of God when we are in need, when we waiver in our belief, when we need the strength that God’s grace gives us.
You may see me periodically looking at the Cross that I was given upon my graduation from seminary. My cross is engraved with a verse from Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” For me this is where I get the strength to carry on.
Jesus needed the people of Nazareth to believe and they were not able to do this. The disciples needed people to believe them and were able to heal and cast out demons. When you believe in Christ all things are possible. The Body of Christ – 2 or 3 gathered together are a powerful force for good in the world.
Let us pray.
Heavenly Father, you strengthen your people to serve you in your creation; strengthen us for service in this corner of the garden where we know that many go hungry, many long for fellowship, and many long for what is right. Bless us on our journey and equip us with everything good that we may do your will.