St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

Readings and Reflections for the Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Ezekiel 2:1-5
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
Mark 6:1-13

God calls the prophet Ezekiel to speak to the people of Israel.  They may or may not listen, but they will know that a prophet has come to them!

In Mark 6 we have the story of Jesus visiting his hometown.  Most of his fellow villagers are unable to welcome him as a prophet.  A few are healed, but we are left with the haunting message that Jesus was unable to do any mighty work there…and he “marveled at their unbelief.”

Paul has been contending for the hearts of the Christians in Corinth who have been caught up in leadership squabbles and are unimpressed with Paul.  There are more “impressive” leaders to follow.  After detailing his credentials (in the previous chapter), Paul makes one more boast of an exceptional revelation of Paradise itself.  But then he makes his real point. Boasting is foolishness.  It is not about outwardly impressive and human credentials, nor about amazing spiritual experiences (though he has these in abundance). He reveals that it is in and through his very weaknesses that the grace of God abounds.

Comment: I take great encouragement from the power of God which is displayed, not in my limited human strengths and achievements, but rather in times and places where I had no “skill” or “experience” to draw upon.  Awareness of our weaknesses, whatever shape they take in each of us, open us to understand the amazing nature of God’s power that comes precisely to us when we acknowledge our weakness and need of God’s gracious power.  It is never about us and what we can do, but what God chooses to do in and through us.