Greetings from the Heartland!
Today as many of us will be with family members, the words from Mark’s Gospel seem most appropriate. How does the gospel read in our hometowns, among our kin? When I was ordained in the PC(USA), I planned an ordination service that I knew would be very unfamiliar and kind of confusing for my family who are Assemblies of God, Non-denominiational, and Roman Catholic. My parents didn’t know a single hymn that was sung that day, but they were very good sports about it.
It seems that the larger issues of this passage are authority, power, and validation of ministry. When Jesus himself is mocked in his hometown by those who know him best, “Isn’t that Joseph and Mary’s boy?” He turns around and sends out the twelve, stripped down, with only each other to depend on.
Is Jesus speaking to the isolation that many of us clergy feel, as if we are out there naked and abandoned, trying to spread the gospel, heal, comfort, and teach with nothing but our wits alone? How will this translate to the pew?
I’m glad it is only Tuesday, and that I have the drive back to Snow Belt to wrestle with these issues! What are you wrestling this week?