Getting Back At It

We did something fun with today’s scripture. I reminded me of when my Engineering Officer on the submarine taught me how to inspect a space. He said, “Walk into the space, think about where you are about to look, then turn around and look the other direction. So, if you go down a ladder to get into Engine Room Lower Level, look up on the way down for dirt. If the passage way goes off to the right, look left first. You’ll find the things that aren’t easy to find.”

Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

“Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Jesus said to them, “Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his own house is a prophet without honor.” He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. And he was amazed at their lack of faith.

Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits. These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic. Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave, as a testimony against them.”

They went out and preached that people should repent.

The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.

By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. “This is a remote place,” they said, “and it’s already very late. Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

But he answered, “You give them something to eat.”

Mark 6:1-12, 30-37 It is fun to focus on the unemphasized portions of stories like these. Many of us know the story about Jesus be rejected at home and the story of John the Baptist being beheaded (which is in the middle) and the feeding of the Five Thousand. But looking at these unemphasized beats gives us a feel for the disciples. Looking for rest, perhaps jealous to tell all they had done, Jesus is still on with the feed my people bit. You can see why they were frustrated.

I haven’t posted for a month because I went to camp and then off to a quiet place and then back to work and all this seemed to run together. I am ready to start writing again a bit, and I updated my blog. You will notice that I’ve changed my opportunity for impulse giving to an MDA page. Like a sucker I agreed to raise money for them through their raising bail page. I’ve also updated my book selection with McLaren’s Generous Orthodoxy, which I got half way through while on vacation. (I need to start taking the train in some more.)

I’ll post something on what I did on my summer vacation later.

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