Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 11: Year 1
Morning, Psalm 55; Evening, Psalms 138, and 139:1 to 17;
2nd Samuel 1:1 to 16; Acts 15:22 to 35; Mark 6:1 to 13:
“He left that place and came to his home town, 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.” (Mark 6:1 to 3)
And sadly, this was on the Sabbath, like today for us.
This kind hometown response to the works of our Lord Jesus comes to us from the Gospel accounts frequently. This lesson reminds us that God can, and does, work through anyone. It is understood by we Christians today that this however was not just anyone, it was God Incarnate, our Lord Jesus in the flesh.
But we must also understand that God can bring us a message through the lips of anyone. The person delivering you the message may not even be aware of the content of the message. But it will hit home with you. Just because you know a person, and the family they come from, or how poorly they did in school, does not mean that God can’t use them for your good and the good of your community.
When we refuse to listen to what God is bringing us because of who is bringing it, we are saying that God is not able to use such a person for good use. I recall the little story of Jonah. Jonah did not want to do anything to help Nineveh. He did not like them. But God loved them. So, when Jonah finally gave in and, (I think), half heartedly delivered the message of repentance, the people of Nineveh listened and repented despite the message coming from someone that they knew didn’t care for them. We can never guess who God will use for our own good.
Because the people of Nazareth knew the returning Jesus, and his family who were still among them, they made the hasty decision that he can’t be all that special. They didn’t consider what God might be doing. Let us not fall in the same way. Let us keep an open heart and an open mind and be accepting and thankful for any good coming from anyone. All good comes from God regardless of who delivers it.
Let us live to love, rather than just live to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John