2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10; Psalm 48; 2 Corinthians 12:2-10, Mark 6:1-13
“Whenever I am weak,” says Paul to the faithful at Corinth, “Then I am strong.” That’s an encouraging thing to hear these days, when there’s so much that feels pressed down, discouraging, impossible to move. Those feelings are real, but taking a moment to refresh and refocus on God’s ability to act when our capacities falter is a Sabbath gift we need to take.
We’ve got a long haul ahead.
When Jesus sent his friends out, stripped of the usual prudent resources for travelers, he knew they weren’t going to have an easy time of it. I imagine they had many tired, bickering walks down narrow goat tracks, wishing there was more bread or a coin that would buy a flask of wine, stopping to knot up one more broken sandal lace and hating the feel of their own dirty skins. It must have felt endless, and pointless, and lonely.
What did it feel like to reach the next village? To be ushered into a small room under a wavering lamp, to encounter the eyes of a child tormented by disease of body or mind … to take her up, bony as a bird, and feel the warm oil trickling into the core of her hurt and fear? Was it worth the long walk, the meager supper? What did they say when they returned to Jesus? What did they learn about God, and about themselves?
Carol James has been part of the cathedral community for over a decade. She has served as a co-mentor in the Education for Ministry program. She currently leads the evening prayer providers in the Jail Ministry and is a cathedral staff member.