Sixth Sunday after Pentecost- Week of July 4, 2021
Begin your devotion time by praying this prayer: Holy God, you are always with us, wherever we go. Give us the courage to share your love with the whole world, no matter what. Amen.
Reflect on the Way of Love together: This week’s practice on the Way of Love is GO. Is it easy or hard for you to go out and share the love of Jesus with other people? Why?
Adult and Small Child
Read: Mark 6:1-13
Reflect: Can you imagine Jesus, or even his disciples, showing up in your town? What would it be like to welcome them into your town? What things would you want to show them? What about inviting them into your home? Where would they sleep? What would you make them to eat? Who would you want them to meet? Why? How would it feel if they were there to help someone who was sick? Jesus sent out his disciples to go and heal, anoint, and help others just like we are called to do.
Respond: There are many ways that you can help in your neighborhood. You can pick up trash at a park. You can donate food to a food pantry. You can visit with your neighbors and see if they need any help. Animal shelters need help walking and playing with their dogs or feeding and petting their cats. You can make cookies to give to the fire department, police department, or nursing homes. You can hold the door open for someone at the store. Throughout the week, see how many ways you can go out and help your neighbor.
- Kelly Benz
Adult and Elementary
Read: Mark 6:1-13
Reflect: Have you ever been rejected? Have you ever tried really hard to do something only to be told “No!” Rejection is hard. I remember trying out for the basketball team in middle school. I really wanted to make the team so I tried my very best, but I still did not make the team. I was incredibly disappointed and sad. The rejection made me feel like I was not good at anything.
Rejection is always a risk with anything that we do. Sometimes we will hear “yes” and sometimes we will hear “no.” Even Jesus was rejected, but he didn’t let it keep him from trying. There is a line in a prayer from the Book of Common Prayer that says, “help [me] to take failure, not as a measure of [my] worth, but as a chance for a new start.” (Book of Common Prayer, For Young Persons, p.829)
Respond: Spend some time this week thinking about ways you have experienced rejection. Maybe this rejection has caused some fear in you to try again or try new things. Maybe it has caused you to feel bad about yourself. After you have thought of these things, remember that Jesus too has been rejected and that rejection is a “chance for a new start!”
- Malcolm McLaurin
Adult and Youth
Read: Mark 6:1-13
Reflect: When I was in high school, my (Episcopal) church got really intentional about meeting and being good neighbors to the folks in the neighborhood. They sent teams out to walk the streets around the church, knocking on doors, introducing themselves, and just trying to get to know people. I remember thinking, “I can say hello to neighbors and have a conversation, especially if I don’t have to do it by myself.” I signed up to be on a team. I met some lovely people this way, including one older man whose wife had Alzheimer’s, and he was clearly longing for some conversation. Our team prayed with him, and continued to keep in touch with him.
When Jesus sent out the disciples, they went in teams, too.And the net result of their efforts to reach out was that many were healed. I hope maybe I brought some healing to that man’s heart. But I wouldn’t have known what he needed unless I went out. And I doubt I would have gone if I’d had to do it alone. To truly love others, we have to be willing to go, and see their needs. But we don’t have to go alone!
Respond: What can you do today to reach out to your neighbors, to build or start relationships with them? This can be a family or group effort! Get some partners! You could find out the addresses of those nearest you and send some cards with encouragements. You might start with a walk around your neighborhood, greeting any you pass, praying to see your neighbors as God does, seeking opportunities to see and meet their needs. Maybe actually knock on some doors and have a conversation to see how they’re doing. You won’t know what they need until you GO and see! Reach out!
- Sally Ulrey
Adult and Adults
Read: Mark 6:1-13
Reflect: I first worked as a camp counselor during the summer of 2009. During that time, I spent a week at a beach camp for junior high youth, held on the Texas Gulf Coast. One of the main themes of the week was evangelism: because we were in a beach town, every day we engaged in worship and Bible study in public places. We sang on the beach, read Scripture outside of surf shops, and shared the peace with one another in front of our favorite ice cream parlor. During Bible study, the girls in my group were challenged to ask faith questions to people they met in these locations; on the most part, these people were strangers. The first night’s Bible study was a little rough. There weren’t many people around, and the few that were there were not very receptive to our conversations about faith. My group faced rejection when asking people questions. However, we also had amazing conversations with people, too; some shared their love of liturgical worship with us, and others saw us sharing the peace with one another and wanted to join in, too.
Going out into the world to share the love of Jesus with others is hard. Even Jesus and his disciples were rejected in Nazareth—Jesus’ hometown! Every day I pray that I can be as bold as that group of girls, willing to share their faith with others, even when facing rejection from others. I pray that I can be like Jesus and his disciples, going out into the world to proclaim the kin-dom of God.
Respond: Take a walk around your neighborhood. Do you see people with whom you can share the love of Jesus? Perhaps you too can bravely tell them the good news of God’s love.
- Victoria Hoppes