Worshipfully Speaking – June 2015

JUNE, WORSHIPFULLY SPEAKING
From the Fire into the Frying Pan!
 
Once again, we are beginning the long 6-month haul of Sundays that take us through the hot, humid days of summer into the autumn conclusion of the year.  This brings us up to the start of the silly season known as the Christmas Countdown.  Or maybe I should speak of it rather more eloquently as ‘the long trek of Jesus’.  That means that He made his way back and forth across the Sea of Galilee, teaching and healing in both Jewish and Gentile regions, much to the welcome of the dis-eased, displaced, and dispossessed—and much to the anxiety of the at-eased, exclusive, and possessive of society and religion.  
 
More and more liturgical calendars now call this 6-month long post-Pentecost season “Ordinary Days”.  That means that large portions of biblical readings are strung out week after week for the sake of continuity and ‘teaching’ the Bible.  Therefore, this time period is nicknamed “The Teaching Season of the Church”.  And—within each week—the appointed texts have little or no relationship to each other thematically.  There are few special celebratory occasions, but to say ‘nothing out of the ordinary’ is to deceive.
 
Our June leg of the journey each Sunday will be in Mark’s gospel as appointed (see the italicized references below).  This is when Jesus moves through the landscape with His disciples, teaching and healing—often with great controversy, not only with the religious authorities, but also among His disciples and his own family.  Jesus begins to ‘take the heat’ of His words and actions, which should be instructive to us modern-day disciples:  The Pentecostal flame of the Holy Spirit continues to burn and singe and forge the life of discipleship wherever Jesus is heard and believed.  The gospel has its enemies, as well as its friends and accomplices.

JUNE 7, 2015….SECOND SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
   Psalm 138   Genesis 3.8-15   2 Corinthians 4.13-5.1    Mark 3.23-3.6
When Jesus comes preaching, he re-defines family and faith.
FIRST SUNDAY SERVICE OF THE EUCHARIST
 
JUNE 14, 2015……THIRD SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
   Psalm 92      Ezekiel 17.22-24      2 Corinthians 5.6-17    Mark 4.26-34
UNITED METHODIST MEN DAY
Great ends can pour out from even the smallest origins.
 
JUNE 21, 2015……FOURTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
   Psalm 91    Job 38.1-11     2 Corinthians 6.1-13    Mark 4.35-41
What does it mean for Jesus to calm the wind and the waves on the deep sea?
FATHERS’ DAY
 
JUNE 28, 2015…….FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST
   Psalm 24   Solomon 1.13-15; 2.23-24  2 Corinthians 8.7-15   Mark 5.21-43
In a very particular setting, Jesus shows no partiality to whom he heals.