Jul 02

6th Sunday after Pentecost [Ordinary 14B] (Year B)

2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10
  • David had served the people before, so they recognized his gifts of leadership.  How do we recognize the gifts of leadership in people – especially young people – today?  Remember, David was 30 years old when he was anointed as king — but he had been leading the people for a while before that time.
  • You may want to use a shepherd’s crook and/or a crown in your worship display today.
Psalm 48
  • Projected/Printed images of castles, temples, ramparts, citadels, and towers accompany this Psalm nicely.
  • Pictures of Mount Zion are also great to use while you read and/or preach this text.
  • Let’s be clear: this is not a Psalm about building up walls or creating fortresses to protect us or our faith.  When the Psalmist writes about citadels and walls and ramparts and towers, these may serve to describe the strength of our faith – or, better yet, the strength and protection offered by God – but these images are not intended to provide us with blueprints for our worshipping communities.
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
  • Maybe it is just me, but it seems as though Paul is a little…”scattered” in this passage.  He’s excited about the subject material, and so his writing matches his mood.  I’ve been there, so I get it.  That said, it may be helpful to read this text from a different translation that lets it all flow a little bit easier.  I really like Eugene Peterson’s take in The Message.
  • Is it possible for us to see our “handicaps” as gifts from God?  What about seeing the people or events that seems to hold us back – can those be gifts from God, too?  What is the “thorn in your flesh”?
  • Items to use in a worship display: thorn-bush or branches and a cross (where Christ’s strength-through-weakness is most clearly shown).
Mark 6:1-13
  • Where are you not taken seriously?
  • Sometimes, we think that we need all of the latest and greatest “stuff” to be able to be effective in our ministry.  It is certainly tempting to pine after all the bells and whistles and flashy lights, but Jesus challenges us to keep it simple.  The Gospel isn’t meant to be part of a popularity contest, so our evangelistic efforts shouldn’t be based on trying to lure people in with “stuff” — the Good News is lure enough!
  • When it comes to our faith journeys, we need to know what (and, perhaps, who) to take with us – as well as what (or who) we need to leave behind.  God doesn’t call us to stay in unhealthy, unwelcoming places or conditions.  Stay where you are welcomed, and “shake off the dust” when you leave places where you are not welcomed.  It is just that easy (and it is just that hard).
  • Have you ever wondered how the disciples were paired when Jesus sent them out two-by-two?  Who was paired with Judas?  Was Matthew (the tax collector) paired with Simon the Zealot?  The text is careful to point out that these Christ-followers are sent out in pairs, but there is no hint as to how the pairs were arranged.  What does this say about how we do ministry and/or evangelism?
  • You may want to use a welcome mat in your worship display (propped-up so people can see it clearly).  You may also want to use a pair of sandals and a staff.

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