Sermon - July 13, 2021 - St. Martin's In the Desert


Sermon – July 13, 2021

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost
Year B
July 11, 2021

2 Samuel 6:1-5
Ephesians: 3-14
Mark: 6:14-29

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and forever. Amen

Gospel: Mark 6:14-19

After Jesus had healed the women who had been bleeding for 12 years and had raised and healed the synagogue leader, Jairus’ daughter, he left that place and went back 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? 

People knew he was Mary and Joseph the carpenter’s son. How did this little boy get his wisdom?

Later He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over unclean spirits.  

KING HEROD heard of Jesus and his disciples, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason, these powers are at work in him.”

Herod had overheard it, could be John the Baptist? and he, being the one who was responsible for beheaded him, Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man.  “Has he come back for revenge”? Herod has a guilty conscious…don’t you think?

He is more then aware of this new knowledge and painfully sensitive and concerned with worry about it. He made a promise to this young daughter of his, who had danced at his birthday party in front of all his guest. He was so pleased he offered her “Whatever she wanted”. 

“Big Mistake”

She asked for the unthinkable… he had to keep his promise to her and that was the head of John the Baptist.  So? he would rather commit murder than appear to be a fool.

Promises We Make and Can’t Keep  

We all have made promises in our life that we could not keep. It happens all the time. If we don’t keep our promise, we risk being a failure and not sincere, we are human and sometimes each of us struggle when we promise something, after all it’s our word.

We are so committed to projecting images of success and happiness, that many of us intentionally project and image of our lives to others, that is a fake self not our true self.  King Herod didn’t want to risk being weak or a failure, he promised her in front of everyone…all his guest in attendance.

Our history of humans, we have grown up with broken promises, maybe as a child you were promised that your parents would take you to the zoo, a movie, the beach, Disneyland, only you were disappointed when something came up and you couldn’t go. 

Hopefully you learn to cope as a child in disappointment and broken promises…then later as you become an adult, you now are making promises, that maybe you too can’t keep. Why?? Because we don’t think about the consequences ….if we could not keep that promise!


Also, we all have done things in our past that we regret doing. And say to ourselves, why didn’t I think this through before I said or did that? Now that Jesus is out in all the county sides, people by the thousands are following him and praising him, Herod is now regretting what he did to John the Baptist.

There are literally millions and millions of people that regret something they said or did years ago and it is catching up to them. In recent years we have seen things come to pass in the public eye and the responds from many will be negative…as if they have no skeletons in their closet!! (Right?) and there are many that regret something, but it’s not public and they are dealing with it in their own way. Sometimes not good either. 


First, be sincere and admit the thing or things we have done. Asking God’s forgiveness, we must say what we did or said and admit we were wrong without excuses. And saying I am sorry God, please forgive me, I sincerely regret disappointing you Father.

There are many ways to find forgiveness with God, I like to use scripture in my prayer, God’s word is powerful, and he encourages me to use it when speaking to him. We have a forgiving God and Jesus gave his life for us, so that we would have eternal life.

(Romans 6:23)

The end is eternal life; For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

Paul says: Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Chris before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.

Our past mistakes help us grow more in wisdom and faith, we root ourselves more deeply in God and God’s Word, and we begin to see that our lives have the potential to impact others with the love of God in a much deeper way than we can imagine.

We cannot control what happens to us in life, but we can make a conscious effort to create a new path for us and those who follow us, by being honest and true to ourselves. Maya Angelou said, “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

The Rev. Lola Culbreath