St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

Readings and Reflections for the Third Sunday of Pentecost

Genesis 3:8-15

2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1

Mark 3:20-35

Dear Friends,

In Genesis 3:8-15 we have the story of Adam and Eve when they disobeyed the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge. Now aware and knowing their “nakedness”, they seek to hide from God’s presence.  Perhaps we could say they’ve exchanged innocent awareness of and trust in God’s presence for an anxious self-awareness and self-reliance.  The consequences of this exchange are many and painful.

In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus is at work to restore and heal God’s people. Yet many people, including certain religious leaders, do not understand or trust his work, thinking his power comes from evil. His own family appears to be concerned that he is going too far with this work. Jesus gives a frightening reply and makes a surprising affirmation. To call what comes from God “evil” places a person in a hopeless situation, as you have just disowned God who is your only and ultimate hope! On the other hand, anyone who seeks to honor God becomes one of God’s own family.

Paul tells the church in Corinth of the great confidence that belongs to those who believe and trust that the God who raised Jesus also will raise them.  Our material and physical lives will indeed fall apart sooner or later.  But when our flesh (earthly tent) is destroyed, God has prepared a life for us that cannot be destroyed – the same life seen in the Risen Christ!

Comment: As the hymn Amazing Grace tells it, may we always trust in the beautiful grace and work of God in Jesus Christ, especially in the midst of “dangers, toils and snares.”  Many voices and feelings try to sabotage our simple trust in the God Jesus calls our loving Abba.  The voice of Satan is clearly heard in any message that tells us that it is up to us alone to make our own way in life.  May we always resist this voice, and be content in our walk of daily trust in God through the voice of Jesus.

David S. Robinson, Rector

Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Maple Glen, PA 19002