On this Sixth Sunday after Pentecost we hear a story of Jesus in his hometown, followed by the commissioning of the disciples to go out (in groups of two) and do God's work. These stories will give us an opportunity to reflect and discuss our relationship with Christ and our comfort with being witnesses to Christ's work in the world. An important element of the Scripture lesson is the focus on faith and relationship with Christ, rather than connecting ourselves to the reactions and responses of others.
Our Scripture passage is found in the Gospel according to Mark. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Mark 6:1-13).
For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):
Read the Scripture assigned for the study and reflect if there are any words or phases that stand out during your reading. Also, what do you imagine Jesus was thinking as the crowd is first amazed and then slowly turns to "taking offense" at him?
After reading the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below, reflect on the author's final sentence of the paragraph, regarding the idea that shaking off the dust could be a hopeful sign: do you think people would change their minds about the disciples and their message of God after witnessing the action of shaking off the dust from their village?
After reading the "WHERE..." paragraph below, reflect on the idea of "servant leadership" and think of ways in which Jesus is an example of this type of leadership.
After reading the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below, reflect on your own experience of spreading the Good News of the Gospel, and any anxieties you might have about sharing your thoughts with others. Is the idea of "spreading the Good News" an idea filled with anxiety, or do you have experiences that help you to feel it in a different way?
After reading the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below, reflect on the author's closing statements, "...we are not held responsible for the response to our ministries in Christ's name, but only for our own faithfulness. With such assurance, we can witness boldly and faithfully." Reflect on the idea that followers of Christ are responsible for their faithful commitment to following Christ, and not for the outcome of others' response to your living witness. Does this idea relieve you of any anxiety mentioned in the previous paragraph, or do you see no relationship between the two (anxiety in spreading the Good News and your faithfulness to Christ alone).