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The Chalice
Friday, June 04 2021

Then he went home; and the crowd came together again, so that they could not even eat. When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, “He has gone out of his mind” (Mark 3:19-21).

As we study the Gospel of Mark this year, I ask you to look a little deeper into this Gospel. The passage contains several questions that lead you to Mark’s main purpose of the Gospel. The Gospel begins, “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mark 1:1 NRSV). In the end of the passage the disciples are asking, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him? (Mark 4:41b NRSV)” It is important to see the literary context of this question. The rhetorical effect of asking these questions is that the reader must look for their own answer. To heighten this rhetorical effect Mark portrays the disciples as totally unaware of who Jesus is. The audience now shares the enlightened viewpoint of Jesus with the narrator. We therefore need to approach the passage within the context of this irony and Mark’s overall purpose in this Gospel. We cannot just look at the passage from a historical perspective. Mark isn’t just trying to tell us a story. Mark challenges us to answer the question, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” My hope is that you live with an expectancy of many great possibilities with the Risen Lord at St. John’s.

In Sunday’s Gospel, the people are saying that Jesus has gone out of his mind. The disciples will struggle to understand the mission of Jesus until the resurrection on Easter Sunday. The understanding of his brothers and sisters being those who follow the will of God is still tricky for us today. God is able to reach his arms of love through Jesus Christ to find the lost, heal the sick, cloth the naked, repair the broken and give Living Water to the thirsty. At St. John’s we are called to open our doors wide and welcome everyone into our church. On Sundays at noon, we will open our church for a concert from Alex. Three days a week, we will open our church to AA. Twice a week we open our doors for the Thrift Shop. Next Thursday at 4:00 our Spirituality group meets. Every morning a group welcomes folks to Morning Prayer at 9AM. We have bible study on Tuesdays at 11AM. This summer we will follow Forward Day by Day. Copies are available at 12 Prospect St. and on the table in the back of the church. Hilda’s Guild meets at 12noon on Tuesdays. Sundays we have service at 8 and 10 in person, on zoom, and on Facebook Live. Please join us this week and please invite a friend!

While the country is ravaged with gun violence, political strife, apathy, and selfishness, Jesus calls on you to be peaceful, loving, caring, and selfless. Be kind to everyone who enters our space and love them like they were your family. This month is gay pride month and we celebrate all our LGBTQ+ members. We are focused on racial reconciliation and we are called to love one another and be thankful for the diversity of race that we are blessed with at St. John’s. I am proud to fly the American flag in front of our church and support our troops and all that serve in uniform. God loves all of us as children of God and we are called to do likewise. While many are leaving the church and joining the political tribalism of today’s culture, I would rather follow our Presiding Bishop and be one of those “Crazy Christians.”

In Christ’s love, 

Fr. Duncan

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Posted by: Rev. Duncan A. Burns AT 11:25 am   |  Permalink   |  Email