Mark 2:23-3:6: Second Sunday after Pentecost
Is it lawful to do harm or good on the Sabbath? Our story begins with Jesus in the field plucking wheat, this was seen by the law as working which was not permitted. No form of work was permitted, it was a sacred day for God.
This reading explains why we do not celebrate the Sabbath in the same way, but in doing so have we lost sight of what it was all about?
In a 24/7 culture where we never switch off, where it is normal to work long hours and hard, to make sure our kids are getting all they need, tutoring, music, swimming. The idea of being, keeping relationships as a priority, and making space to relax and appreciate God or even just life is lost.
The leaders of the time had lost their way, the law was more important than the purpose. Jesus turns this around and transformed lives. I wonder whether we have lost what is important about the Sabbath.
Have we filled our days in this new found freedom and become slaves in a new way? Does our Sabbath do harm or good?
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1: Third Sunday after Pentecost.
I am about to go on a camping trip. Most of my friends will be surprised by this, as camping is not really my thing, I like flushing toilets and hot showers. Our reading this week talks about our life as a temporary tent and that it will be destroyed but we are making a house in the heavens. For me I hope it is a castle with all the modern conveniences!
The thing with tents is they are great in mild weather but when things get really rough, cold, wet or windy or even hot, they don’t serve so well. It is easy in these moments of to be discouraged, or even want to pack up and go home. But it also when you survive these moments you often have the best memories of time shared together.
It becomes one of our treasures, a building block for a divine castle. It is good to be reminded of this as I head out on the journey. It will not always be easy or smooth travelling. There will be times when my heart will be in my throat and I will just want to pack up and go home, but these too will pass and provide us with more bricks in the divine castle of life.
What was the last brick you remember making?
2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17: Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
What do you think it means to no longer view someone from a human point of view?
In our understanding of Jesus, it is that we no longer know him as a human walking the earth and teaching, but as Spirit and wisdom through the Bible, those people who were even blessed to know him, after his death also had to change the way they related to him.
When we choose to be part of Christ we become a new creation. So what does this “new” look like? Is it about love? If Grace, hope, justice are the new lenses we wear, how do they impact our daily lives? How do they impact on the way we see others?
The temptation we have as humans is to only see people from our own experience, how they have always been, but as followers of Jesus we are always striving to be more like Jesus. I would hope that I am better at it today than I was at it yesterday.
Do we offer others the same grace that Jesus does? Do we encourage their strengths and build their weaknesses or would we prefer them just to go away?
Mark 4:35-41: Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Recently I have been involved in a project that has gone surprisingly well. You might think this is a good thing, and it is, but now, something I imagined to be the size of a football field is more likely a suburb, bordering on a country.
To be honest this is scary and I know how we got here. It was God who inspired us to move on this project, it is God putting all the right people in the right place at the right time. But I’m still scared. What if I mess this up? What if I stop listening? What if, what if, what if…
At times there is so much going on I feel caught in a windstorm in the middle of the lake. God don’t you care what is going to happen?
God steps into my world, who, by the way, was there all along and says,” Where is your faith?” So I grab God’s hand and the friends I am on this journey together with, the wind dies down and we keep sailing, or rowing or however our boat is going to move. Whether it is good times or bad times that cause the storm, know that God has been with you all along and look out for the hand that has been sent to hang onto.
Who is the hand of God for you?
Rev. Karen Mitchell-Lambert, Church Engagement Leader ― Parramatta Nepean Region. For more of Karen’s Lectionary Doodles visit her website.