( Mark 6, 1-13)
(Short reflection for Breakfast Church)
In Mark’s account of Jesus’s ministry in Galilee, we hear how Jesus is decisively rejected the people of his home town.
But it doesn’t deter him. He simply moves on, to teach and preach and heal in other places, where he is made welcome, and where he can do some good.
And then he sends his disciples out, in pairs, to continue his work. I would imagine they must have felt quite daunted by this. If even Jesus himself was not always made welcome, what sort of a reception were they going to get?
He warned them that they might get the same hostile reception as him, and instructed them to do what he did – shake the dust of the place from their feet and move on.
And to make things even more difficult, Jesus insisted that they went without supplies, so that they had to rely on the hospitality of those they went to serve.
If they were to do his work, they had to learn, like him, to trust in God’s provision, and to accept the need to be dependent on others.
Two words to carry with us during the week from this reading:
The first is ‘sent’. Jesus knew himself to be sent by God to preach the Good News of the Kingdom: the news of healing, the news of acceptance, the news of forgiveness, the news of the love of God for all people.
Jesus sent his disciples out to spread the Good News more widely – and he sends us out too.
God is sending us out in his name this week – to different places, to serve different people. So, consider, where are you individually being sent? Where are you as a church being sent? And pray for obedience to God’s commission.
The second word is ‘dependence’. We live in a world of self-sufficiency and independence. We are supposed to be able to look after ourselves. Our society tends to look down on those who rely on others to meet their needs.
But that’s not the Kingdom way. In the Kingdom we rely on each other, we depend on each other, and often on those we are sent to serve.
So, consider, who do you depend on to meet your needs, to resource you to fulfil the task God sets you?
Who does this church rely on to meet the needs of the many people it serves? How are those who this church serves contributing to this church and this community?
And give thanks for all those on whom you depend, and pray for grace to resist the temptation to carry out your vocation in your own strength and in your own way, rather than in God’s way.