Sunday, July 8, 2012

Two by two

Jesus left that place and 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 offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, "Prophets are not without honor, 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. Mark 6:1-13

We have a fresh water pond near us which is full of many migratory birds and some ducks and swans that stay year round. There were swan cygnets this spring, gray fuzz balls, six or seven of them. We watched as the two adults swan with them, one at the front and one bringing up the rear, protecting their young and teaching them as they went. They were modeling life long skills and learning. Never swim alone, and there is always more power and joy when there are two or more on the water together.

Jesus was disregarded in his home town, shot down and unable to do anything good. Their unbelief saddened him, and he quickly moved on to calling the disciples and sending them out two by two. H knew they might get worn down individually, but if they went out together, there would always be strength and faith between them. He knew that faith, joy and healing were most alive when shared with others. Jesus didn't give them any provisions, for their faith and the response of the community would be sufficient for their needs.

Prayer for General Convention on Sunday

Gracious Savior and Redeemer, we are tired and sore from the long days and mounds of work to be done. We are too, filled with joy as we greet old friends and make new ones. May we be reminded that we are never alone, and that you have promised to help us go out into the world, giving us your power to heal and transform the world. Help us to move out together into our needy world, taking no provisions, save your love and blessing. May we cling to each other as we move forward, knowing that you will be in our midst as we move together in service to your Gospel and the people. Amen

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