Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. 7 Calling the Twelve to him, he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits. 8 These were his instructions: “Take nothing for the journey except a staff—no bread, no bag, no money in your belts. 9 Wear sandals but not an extra shirt. 10 Whenever you enter a house, stay there until you leave that town. 11 And if any place will not welcome you or listen to you, leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 They went out and preached that people should repent. 13 They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.
Jesus gets the twelve together and proceeds to organize them into pairs. It would be interesting to speculate on who was with who but that leads us away from the text. The instructions of Jesus are next and are interesting. They are only to take a staff with them. Yesterday in the first six verses of the text we saw the lack of faith of the “home” people but Jesus is commissioning his disciples to go out in faith trusting God and the hospitality of those they visited. They go out and they do what they were told to do and many wonderful things happened.
One of the challenges for us in the church is the ability to be be told or encouraged to do something and then to simply do it. Often we have to get something we think we need or we have to do something else before we proceed to do what needs to be done. Can you remember as a child when your mom and dad were calling and you were busy doing something and you replied, “Just a minute.” I have to admit I still do it with my family…”Just a minute. The text would suggest that the disciples were willing to do what Jesus was asking them to do and they went out in faith and did it.
Father, we are thankful when our eyes see, our ears hear, minds understand and our hands and feet move and we start talking and listening with other people. You provide us the opportunities to speak about the happenings that are going around us even of it means talking and sharing in different ways at the present time. We thank you for the signs of spring and summer, new life and we pray that we would live in the new life you have given to us in Jesus Christ. May we know his presence every moment of our lives and by doing so be led to fulfill your will for our lives.
6 Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. 2 When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? 3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.” 5 He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 He was amazed at their lack of faith.
With all the violence that has been going on this last week we see there is a lack for respect for “the other” in so many ways. It seems to come with a complete sense of ignorance. We seem to lack a real sense of caring for the other. This week it has once again be known in the lack of respect for race, power and any sense of love in what we are doing. It was missing in the lesson we have today.
Jesus returns home and the people are questioning his wisdom, his miracles and his family tree and the people are found lacking in faith. Would he not find that true on the earth as it exists today? We think we have made so much progress in compassion. We find total disregard for others and how much that “ignorance” in its truest form (the need for “me and my rights” and the ignorance of”my rights”.) This brings anger and rage in others. May we take some time today to look at ways we contribute by ignoring it, by becoming ignorant in our own lives, and simply dismissing it…
Lord, we pray for the ignorance of the world around us and ourselves as we go from day to day. When we see injustice done by others or see ourselves involved in it, move us in someway to address it. May we not simply say words of prayer to have you change it. By the guidance of the Holy Spirit you cause us to be the answer to our own prayer if we are willing to address injustices in all our words, our caring for others and by that lead others to do the same in our every day encounters. May we follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Amen.
We welcome everyone to this service of worship this morning.
The sympathy of the congregation is extended to Rick and Karen Wheeliker and family in the passing of Rick’s mother Patricia Wheeliker on Saturday, May 23.
To the Current Fund
In memory of Tom & Marguerite Penny by Eileen MacNeil
In memory of Patsy Wheeliker by Kathy Hardy
To the Choir Fund
In memory of Allison Shaw by Flossie MacLean
In memory of Allison Shaw by Roy & Kay Gallivan
In memory of Tom & Marguerite Penny by Roy & Kay Gallivan
In memory of Albert Wheaton by Roy & Kay Gallivan
To the Benevolent Fund
In memory of Gertie MacIntyre by Alan & Brenda Skinner
In memory ofGertie MacIntyre from Gus and Alixe MacAskill
In memory of Tom and Marguerite Penny from Catherine and David Sneddon
In memory of Albert Wheaton from Catherine and David Sneddon
May 31: A long journey for a Rohingya family
Polio left 20-year-old Kafietula and his 10-year-old sister Shohita unable to walk. One day, arson and killings in their neighbourhood forced these Rohingya children to flee their home. For a week, Kafietula’s family members carried him and his sister until they reached safety in Bangladesh. There are many families like Kafietula’s who, after brutal journeys, are far away from home and without food or proper shelter. Working with partners at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, PWS&D is providing food vouchers so that families can shop at local markets. With diversified foods to help them stay healthy, many Rohingya people can begin to dream again. “Shohita is able to go to school and is learning English. She has a dream of being a teacher and wants to help others.”
PWS&D helps people who have been forced from their home
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On this assembled host, in this accepted hour, O Spirit, as at Pentecost, descend in grace and power.
We meet with one accord in our appointed place, and wait the promise of our Lord, the Spirit of all grace.
Like mighty rushing wind upon the waves beneath, move with one impulse every mind; one soul, one spirit breathe.
The young, the old inspire with wisdom from above, and give us hearts and tongues of fire to pray and praise and love.
Spirit of light, explore and chase our gloom away, your splendour shining more and more unto God’s perfect day.
24 So Moses went out and told the people what the Lord had said. He brought together seventy of their elders and had them stand around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke with him, and he took some of the power of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. When the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied—but did not do so again. 26 However, two men, whose names were Eldad and Medad, had remained in the camp. They were listed among the elders, but did not go out to the tent. Yet the Spirit also rested on them, and they prophesied in the camp. 27 A young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 Joshua son of Nun, who had been Moses’ aide since youth, spoke up and said, “Moses, my lord, stop them!” 29 But Moses replied, “Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the Lord’s people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 Then Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp. (NIV)
24 How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 25 There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small.
26 There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. 27 All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time.
28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. 29 When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.
30 When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground. 31 May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works –
32 he who looks at the earth, and it trembles, who touches the mountains, and they smoke. 33 I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
34 May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the Lord. 35b Praise the Lord, my soul. Praise the Lord. (NIV)
Holy Spirit, living Breath of God, breathe new life into my willing soul. Bring the presence of the risen Lord to renew my heart and make me whole. Cause Your Word to come alive in me; give me faith for what I cannot see; Give me passion for Your purity. Holy Spirit, breathe new life in me.
Holy Spirit, come abide within; may Your joy be seen in all I do— Love enough to cover every sin in each thought and deed and attitude, Kindness to the greatest and the least, gentleness that sows the path of peace. Turn my striving into works of grace. Breath of God, show Christ in all I do.
Holy Spirit, from creation’s birth, giving life to all that God has made, Show your power once again on earth; cause Your church to hunger for Your ways. Let the fragrance of our prayers arise. lead us on the road of sacrifice That in unity the face of Christ will be clear for all the world to see.
2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” 14 Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15 These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16 No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 “‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18 Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19 I will show wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21 And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ (NIV)
19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. 21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” (NIV)
Come down, O love divine, seek now this soul of mine, And visit it with your own ardor glowing. O Comforter, draw near, within my heart appear, And kindle it, your holy flame bestowing.
O let it freely burn, till earthly passions turn To dust and ashes in its heat consuming; And let Thy glorious light shine ever on my sight, And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.
Let holy charity mine outward vesture be, And lowliness become mine inner clothing; True lowliness of heart, which takes the humbler part, And pride in earthly glory scorns with loathing.
And so the yearning strong, with which the soul will long, Shall far out-pass the power of human telling; For none can guess its grace, till we become the place Wherein the Holy Spirit makes a dwelling.
O Breath of life, come sweeping through us, Revive your church with life and power; O Breath of life, come, cleanse, renew us, And fit your church to meet this hour.
O Wind of God, come bend us, break us, Till humbly we confess our need; Then in your tenderness remake us, Revive, restore, for this we plead.
O Breath of love, come breathe within us, Renewing thought and will and heart; Come, Love of Christ, afresh to win us, Revive Thy church in every part.
O Tongues of fire, come rest upon usSo we may speak your word aright Kindle the flame of love among us; Equip your church to spread the light.
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. 30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?” 31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ” 32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?” 36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. 39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him. After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
This is one of those occasions when we have a story within a story. Mark starts telling the story of Jairus coming to tell him about his sick daughter. As Jesus is coming to heal her, he comes upon the woman who no one had been able to heal. He heals her and then goes to Jairus’ house and heals his daughter.
We have in this lesson one wonderful story of healing within another.
I have, at times, told a story within a story. I have started another story within one I was telling someone or a group of people and have sometimes lost myself enough in the second story that I have forgotten the first story. Sometimes I am prompted by who I am speaking with.
The miracles were not easily forgotten nor the context in the mind of the writer.
I want to focus on the last verse for a few moments. Jesus tells those gathered not to talk about what just happened. Have you ever heard or experienced something wonderful and been told not to talk about it? Are you one that can follow the instructions to not speak about it or are you, like me, who on some occasions, finds it very difficult or impossible not to tell?
Gracious and ever-present God,
We experience in so many different ways the wonders of your love and grace. Some of these are times when you are speaking to us individually as to what to our needs are at that time or what we need to do or say. At other times you reveal yourself to a group or community. The day spoken about in our lesson today, you did not speak once. You spoke through the two miracles and in the words of your Son to your people. May we know the occasions you speak to us and rejoice in them and follow your calling, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
5 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. 14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. 18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
Micah D. Kiel writes about this text on workingpreacher.com ” The point for Mark, obviously, is not to have told a story that represents accurately a community and its pigs. In his story about the Kingdom of God, it becomes increasingly clear that humanity — its society and institutions — impedes the in-breaking of God’s kingdom more than it expedites. The way the Kingdom of God breaks into the world in Mark’s story wrests control from humanity. Their way of “dealing” with the demoniac — ostracism and segregation — is not tenable in God’s Kingdom.“
It reminds me of a time when I was young in church and there was a noise coming from the back of the church during a Sunday Service I attended. I was told later that a man had come into the church and was creating somewhat of a disturbance so was asked to leave. I know I do not know all of the circumstances of what went on but the person who told me about the event wondered why the people that dealt with the man had not taken him somewhere in the church to talk to him.
It’s comfortable to talk to people who are friends or pleasant and polite but Jesus was not called to speak only to those who were nice to him. He was called to speak to all people and we are called to do the same.
Heavenly Father, forgive us for those times when we have rejected another by anything that we see in them, heard from them, discerned from them that causes us to feel they are different from us. Help us to see with eyes of love, to listen with ears that are attentive, and a mind that is open, not closed. Help us to love our neighbours as ourselves, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” 41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
One of my favorite pieces to sing is the stranger of Galilee. The third and fourth verses speaks to this text:
I heard Him speak peace to the angry waves, Of that turbulent, raging sea; And lo! at His word are the waters stilled, this Stranger of Galilee; A peaceful, a quiet, and holy calm, now and ever abides with me; He holdeth my life in His mighty hands, this Stranger of Galilee.
Come ye who are driven, and tempest tossed, and His gracious salvation see; He’ll quiet life’s storms with His Peace, be still! this Stranger of Galilee; He bids me to go and the story tell – What He ever to you will be, If only you let Him with you abide, this Stranger of Galilee.
The closing refrain asks us to make our commitment and to love and serve him:
Oh, my friend, won’t you love Him forever? So gracious and tender is He! Accept Him today as your Saviour, This Stranger of Galilee.
The disciples were learning trust on the way but they hadn’t quite reach the point of total surrender. Are we in the boat they were in, afraid and not certain? Are we ready to give our storms over to the Lord that he may lead/guide us through and out of them?
We thank you Lord, for the voices to sing such wonderful words but we also thank you for the conviction we have in singing them and knowing them in our lives. May we hear Jesus speak, “Peace, be still,” to and for us and accept his calling and tell the wonderful story. Amen.
30 Again he said, “What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.” 33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything. (NIV)
We sometimes get caught up in our own understanding of what is meant by someone when s/he speak to us. I have had people in my years in ministry come to me and say, “you said….?” and my first response to their question usually is yes I did, what did you take that to mean? The person then tells me and I can agree with their interpretation or tell them “that is not what I was trying to say.” Jesus had a lot of these occasions. People hearing him but not hearing him. In this parable he is telling the people that the kingdom of God starts small….time will bring growth and it will become large. We know that as churches we set up small groups for leadership, fellowship, mission study and choir and …and…and… The key is that all share for the growth of the whole.
God who cares for all “seeds”, we ask for your blessing on all the seeds of the world that you are planting, nourishing and growing towards all that you meant them to be. May we know the assurance that comes from trusting in you through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.