Eighth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 11
July 18, 2021
First Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-14a
Second Reading: Ephesians 2:11-22
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34,53-56
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, on God, now and forever. Amen
Let’s go over the past couple of Sundays in the Gospel of Mark…Chapter 5:21-35, Jesus was speaking to great crowd of people that had followed him. In these scriptures, was the women who had been bleeding for 12 years, she had spent all she had on doctors and nothing helped. She was considered unclean and couldn’t worship in the Synagogue. Because of her persistence, she found a way to touch the hem of his garment and with her faith, she was made well. He also healed the daughter of one of the Synagogue, leaders Jairus.
Mark 6: 1-13 Jesus leaves that place and goes home and is teaching in the synagogue…of course the leaders are not happy with him and neither are some of the people he grew up with…who is he and where did he get his wisdom?
Jesus gathers his 12 disciples and sends them out with nothing…go two by two and gave them authority over unclean spirits. They went out and proclaimed that all should repent, they cast out demons, anointed some with oil and many who were sick were made well.
King Herod, being the one responsible for beheading John the Baptist, heard all this and because some were saying…maybe John the Baptist has returned, he was worried.
I spoke last Sunday about promises we make and in order to save face, we have to keep the promise or lose trust in those who we have promised, and maybe we wished we hadn’t made this hasty promise. Herod had regrets and guilt. We cannot go through life without regrets and guilts.
Gospel: Mark: 6:30-34,53-56
In today’s Gospel, the story is divided into two parts, but pretty much says the same thing.
We Rest In A Quiet Place:
The Apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
We have seen this, where people put a lot into what they are doing, it doesn’t matter if it’s work, a volunteer position, taking care of aging parents or your spouse, your spending 24-7 doing it.
Soon your tired, burnt out, losing weight, not sleeping, not eating and you become short tempered and being a disciple of Christ Jesus, you’re not spending enough time alone and resting in God’s arms. This reminded me of a prayer, I’m sure we all have heard, or different versions.
Time to Pray
I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day;
I had so much to accomplish that I didn’t have time to pray.
Problems just tumbled about me, and heavier came each task
“Why doesn’t God help me?” I wondered.
He answered, “You didn’t ask.”
I wanted to see joy and beauty, but the day toiled on, gray and bleak;
I wondered why God didn’t show me.
He said, “But you didn’t seek.”
I tried to come into God’s presence; I used all my keys at the lock.
God gently and lovingly chided
“My child, you didn’t knock.”
I woke up early this morning, and paused before entering the day;
I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.
Jesus listens to his disciples telling him all that they have been doing, and frankly he sounded quit worry about them. They sounded effective, but is it going to take a toll on them and then how effective will they be? Also, they were successful, just look at the crowds following Jesus and the disciples.
He wants to accomplish several things. He may have felt… they were getting a little ahead of themselves. When you see the results, they were getting, could it be going to their head a little? and not giving the credit to God! Jesus knew what they needed, to be in silence and in prayer, to reunite and renew, so they can continue to receive the gifts… that God has given them.
As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
Jesus, had not only compassion for his disciples, but he had compassion for the people. Their need was so great; the hunger they had for healing and for the power of God’s word was strong and he wasn’t about to send them away.
God calls us to rest in him. “Come to me…I will give you rest.”
Rest is important to your spiritual walk with the Lord, and many Christians today don’t appreciate the value of rest or keeping the Sabbath day holy. Rest allows our mind, body, and soul to renew and start with even more strength and focus.
Scripture is filled with God’s promises to provide rest when we seek Him. God is an endless source of peace and strength and He created us to need Him!
It may be hard to make time daily to build a space between here and in the spiritual world with God. But we can give him a few minutes every day, so we can go out and use the gifts he has given us through grace and he strengthens us when we are tired, he shows us the way to be compassionate, but also, he gives us the knowledge to know when to work and when to rest and pray.
Rev. Lola Culbreath