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Third Sunday after Pentecost - Year B

Sunday 9 June 2024

THOUGHTS FOR THIS WEEK

Readings

1 Samuel 8.4-11, 8.16-20: The people of Israel demand a king and God concedes, instructing Samuel to tell them how hard it will be to have a king ruling over them. Then Saul is appointed as king.

Psalm 138: Praise and thanksgiving for God’s unfailing love, God’s promises, God’s answers to prayer, and God’s protection.

2 Corinthians 4.13-18, 5.1-5: Paul explains his hope and faith in God that compels him to preach, for as God raised Christ, so God will raise all who believe in Christ. This gives us hope and perseverance in the face of the troubles we must deal with in this life.

Mark 3.20-35: In response to the religious teachers who claim that Jesus is possessed by a demon, Jesus teaches that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand, and that Satan cannot fight against Satan. Then, when his mother and brothers come asking for him, Jesus declares that all who do God’s will are his family.

Rev Tania writes:

The common themes between the passages from  1 Samuel 8, 2 Corinthians 4 and 5, and Mark 3 include leadership, authority, and the contrast between human weakness and divine power.

So, how do we apply this to our lives in 2024?
Leadership and Authority: In 1 Samuel 8, the Israelites demand a king to lead them, rejecting God’s direct rule. This reflects a human tendency to prefer visible, tangible leadership over faith in the unseen. Similarly, in Mark 3, Jesus’ authority is questioned by his family and the scribes, illustrating a misunderstanding of his divine leadership.

Human Weakness vs. Divine Power: 2 Corinthians 4 and 5 discuss the resilience of faith amidst suffering, contrasting the transient nature of human life with the eternal glory of God’s kingdom. Paul emphasises that while we may face affliction, our inner renewal and hope come from God.

Seeking God’s Leadership: Like the Israelites, we may be tempted to follow worldly leaders or systems, but we are called to seek God’s kingdom first. This means prioritising spiritual values over societal pressures and trusting in God’s guidance.

Embracing Our Role: We can bring about God’s kingdom by recognising our role as ambassadors of Christ. This involves spreading love, justice, and peace in our communities, reflecting the character of Jesus in our actions.

Resilience Through Faith: In times of personal struggle or societal turmoil, we can find strength in our faith, knowing that our trials are temporary and that we are working towards an eternal purpose. By focusing on these themes, we can navigate the complexities of modern life while contributing to the realisation of God’s kingdom on earth. It’s about balancing our earthly responsibilities with our heavenly calling, always remembering that God’s power is made perfect in our weakness.

Rev Tania