Rev. Zachary Mabe is in his 16th year as the Pastor of the Terryville Congregational Church in Terryville, Connecticut.
Scripture: Mark 6:1-13 (NRSV)
He left that place and came to his home town, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, ‘Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?’ And they took offence at him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Prophets are not without honour, except in their home town, and among their own kin, and in their own house.’ And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, ‘Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.’ So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
Reflection: What Can You Do?
What did you learn from 2020? Is there anything that is new or renewed in your life?
If I came out of 2020 with anything, I have embraced a renewed sense of approaching each moment from a place of gratitude. I found it so tempting and so easy to start complaining about things in 2020, and going down that path soon took me to a place where I felt very separated from God (and from neighbor, and from myself).
Jesus was "amazed at their unbelief."
In 2020, I found myself pausing and being reminded: I am a person of faith. Instead of marinating in the, "Well, I can't do this or that - because of the pandemic," let me start from a place of "What am I thankful for?" "What am I hopeful for?" "What can I do right now?"
Don't get me wrong, I still complain; I still have other negative thoughts; and I still fall very short in all these categories I'm naming. But there's something very powerful about remembering and being reminded. And 2020 has taught me to remember: I am a person of faith. Nothing can shake that. I'm not alone. God abides.
If God can send out disciples two-by-two and tell them to take nothing but a staff for their journey... and they do it... and they survive... and the gospel is spread...then God can work through you and through me, and nothing can separate us from that kind of love.
What are you thankful for? What are you hopeful for?
What can you do right now?
Dear God, thank you! As we approach July 4th - Independence Day - remind us of the many blessings that come from you. We have so much for which to be thankful! Help us to pause... to breathe... to remember... to seek a closer relationship with you and with neighbor. Use us, God, according to your will. Amen.
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayers of Intercession:
- For those grieving for more than 601,000 dead due to the Covid-19 disease
- For the victims and their families of the 309 mass shootings already carried out in 2021
- For more equitable distributions of wealth and compassion toward those working of sub-livable wages, or struggling to make ends meet with healthcare, child care, transportation, and living expenses
- For those grieving or suffering after the building collapse in Miami which has left 152 missing and nine dead so far
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- For those who will finally be able to travel over the July 4 holiday weekend
This Week in History:
June 28, 1969 (52 years ago) A early morning police raid on the Stonewall Inn in New York City led to a major protests on behalf of LGBTQ community. The Inn was a popular gay club that was targeted for selling alcohol without a license. Patrons and many in the community had grown increasingly frustrated as police departments had raided many of the LGBTQ clubs in the city in what appeared to be a targeted campaign. The violence that followed the raid was quelled sometime in the early morning, but the protests in the days that followed are still considered by many to be the fist major protests for LGBTQ rights. The following year, New York's first official pride parade left from the Stonewall Inn and marched up 6th avenue. June was later designated LGBTQ Pride Month in part to commemorate the uprising.
“Study the past if you would define the future.”