Ordinary Time (Proper 9)
MARK 6:1–13/6:1–14 IV
Ezekiel 2:1–5, Psalm 123, 2 Corinthians 12:2–10, Mosiah 1:121–122, Doctrine and Covenants 133:2c–d
Provide paper, writing utensils, colored pencils, and crayons (pastels) for use during the Focus Moment.
We Rejoice! Choose two or three.
“Amen, Siakudumisa!/Amen, Sing Praises to the Lord!” CCS 109
OR “Siyahamb’ Ekukhanyen’ Kwenkhos’/We Are Marching in the Light of God” CCS 95
OR “Now Sing to Our God” CCS 108
OR “Now in This Moment” CCS 96
OR “Sing to God as Sings the Ocean” CCS 104
Words of Welcome and Invitation
The time shall
—Mosiah 1:121–122, adapted
Centering Breath Prayer
Invite the congregation into a time of breath prayer based on 2 Corinthians 12:9–10 as an opening moment of centering in God’s presence. This can be done in silence or with a soft accompaniment. The suggested prayer phrases are repeated silently as a mantra while focusing on the breath. Allow 2–5 minutes for this prayer.
Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 12:9–10
On the exhale: “When I am weak.”
On the inhale: “Then I am strong.”
Prayer for Peace
Light the peace candle.
“The Peace of Jesus Christ” CCS 317
OR “Prayer of Peace” CCS 164
Prayer of Peace
Creator and Sustainer,
We are so weary of war, terrorism, and contention, Lord. We long for peace in every part of our world—in every aspect of our lives. We pray for your presence in our hearts guiding us to those efforts which will lead us to a more peaceful and
In the name of your son, the Prince of Peace, we pray for the coming of his kingdom as peace fills the earth. Amen.
For more ideas: The Daily Prayer for Peace services offered at the Temple in Independence, Missouri, can be found on the church’s website as Calendar Events at www.CofChrist.org /daily-prayer-for-peace.
Confession of Unbelief
Based on Mark 6:1–6/6:1–8 IV
This moment of confession uses the first half of today’s lectionary text from the Gospel of Mark. In
Based Mark 6:1–6/6:1–8 IV
Reader: O God of wonders and mysteries, we confess that we do not fully understand your approach, your method, or your manner.
Allow time for silent confession.
Reader: O God of infinite love, we confess that when we are made uncomfortable we put up our defenses, we shut you and others out, and we take offense.
Allow time for silent confession.
Reader: O God of delightful surprises, we confess that we often miss the signs of your movement and liveliness because we look only in the same places.
Allow time for silent confession.
Reader: O God of unlimited mercy, open our eyes, stir in our hearts and awaken us to the potential in each person, in every situation, to bring your kingdom closer to this place, trusting in what we cannot always see, setting aside our judgments of right and wrong, taking nothing and no one for granted.
Question for Silent Reflection
Print or project for everyone to see.
In what unexpected people or places can you look for God’s blessing?
Ministry of Music or Sung Together
“Leftover People in Leftover Places” CCS 275
OR “God of Still Waiting” CCS 58
OR “Come to Me, O Weary Traveler” CCS 230
OR “O Carpenter, Why Leave the Bench” CCS 25
Focus Moment: Sharing Your Apostolic Witness
Mark 6:7–13/6:9–14 IV
The second half of today’s lectionary Gospel text describes Jesus sending out his apostles to witness and heal. We are all called to this type of witnessing—apostolic witness—to share our stories of how we have encountered the good news and tasted the living waters! We never know when we will meet someone who needs to hear the message we have to share, so we must be ready when God surprises us. Opportunities abound!
Provide people with paper and writing utensils. Some people may want to draw, so also provide colored pencils or crayons (pastels). Give them a few moments to make notes about their testimony. What is a transformative moment from their lives they would share with someone who is in need, lonely, or searching for more? What good news of life in a community of Christ do they have to share? With whom can they share their story?
Encourage children to think about a time when they felt loved by a member of their family, someone in their congregation, or by a friend at school. Ask them to draw a picture of that person or experience.
Encourage people to take their papers with them as a reminder of the impact of sharing out of love.
Everyone is called to witness and bring good news to others!
Based on Mark 6:1–13/6:1–14 IV
OR Spiritual Practice: Dwelling in the Word
Based on Mark 6:7–13/6:9–14 IV
“Dwelling in the Word” is a missional practice based on our understanding that God continues to speak to us in the context of our day and calling. Listen
See the description of the Dwelling in the Word practice from the Leading Congregations in Mission website if your congregation is not familiar with it (https://static1.squarespace.com /static/57d21ca0f5e231551c69ac3f/t/57f1c216725e25e914ab120c/1475461655283 /Dwelling+in+the+Word.pdf).
Use these prompts as the scripture is read three times.
Before reading the scripture the first time:
Listen for or sense a particular word, phrase, or image in the scripture passage that you feel led to explore or wonder about.
Before reading the scripture the second time
Listen for or sense a phrase, word, or image that is the most challenging to you.
Before reading the scripture the third time:
What is God’s invitation to you, or your congregation, in this text? What are those things that get in the way of you fully living out this invitation?
Have participants share their responses in pairs or small groups.
Disciples’ Generous Response
Six principles of A Disciple's Generous Response guide us in managing and sharing our resources: Receive God’s Gifts, Respond Faithfully, Align Heart and Money, Share Generously, Save Wisely, and Spend Responsibly (www.CofChrist.org/disciples-gener ous-response).
When we consider the ways each principle applies in our lives, we respond faithfully and begin to align our priorities with God’s priorities, align our hearts with God’s heart.
Align Heart and Money
Managing the money we have, no matter the amount, expresses our desire to love and help God, neighbors, ourselves, and the world. When we focus our giving on God’s purposes, our hearts become more aligned with God’s heart.
Question for Reflection:
What adjustments do you need to make to align your heart and money?
Giving comes from compassionate hearts. As a disciple, I am compelled by compassion to reach out through generosity. It reminds me of the story of when Jesus fed 4,000 hungry followers on a mountain. He looked at the people and felt compassion.
I give to local and worldwide ministries because I am called to generously share my witness, resources, talents, treasures, ministries, and sacraments according to my true capacity. When we act with compassion we open opportunities for God’s blessing.
During the rainy season, floods victimized the Nsanje District. Many people, including some Community of Christ members, were left homeless. They had little hope of finding food. But the church helped. So, it is like the story of fish and loaves. After the food was blessed, the people ate and regained strength.
I give to accomplish the mission of Jesus Christ. Without giving it would be impossible to meet the needs of people.
—Lackings Banda, “Finding Compassion in Malawi,” Herald, March 2016.
As you share financially through Mission Tithes, or if you give regularly through
Blessing and Receiving of Local and Worldwide Mission Tithes
For additional ideas, see Disciples’ Generous Response Tools at www.CofChrist.org/disciples-generous-response-tools.
Hymn of Commitment
“You Are Called to Tell the Story” CCS 625
OR “I’m Gonna Live So God Can Use Me” CCS 581
OR “God Forgave My Sin in Jesus’ Name” CCS 627
Doctrine and Covenants 133:2c–d
Ordinary Time (Proper 9)
Exploring the Scripture
When Jesus got up to teach, those who had known him best over the years found it difficult to believe such wisdom could come from this son of Mary. They struggled to believe he could be doing the wonders he had performed elsewhere,
When he stepped into his mission, Jesus had stepped out of the status and role he previously held in his village. As a carpenter, he would have had some economic means, but not enough to belong to the educated class who could devote their time to studying the law. Now he was teaching his kin in the law, taking on a role that should not naturally be his!
The people in his hometown took offense because they felt Jesus was presuming to be more than he ought to be by their standards. Their inability to see beyond societal expectations and into the depth of his message kept Jesus from performing “deeds of power” in his hometown (v. 2).
Jesus was a real human being. The struggle of discerning his mission within the context of his friends, family, society, and background reminds us that responding to God’s call didn’t come without a cost for Jesus. Responding to mission sometimes causes tension in our relationships, as Jesus knew all too well. Yet he believed in the power of his own
Jesus commissions the 12—those who are appointed—to join with him in proclaiming the coming of God’s kingdom. They are to expand his
Such partnership leads them to action. The instruction Jesus gives the disciples asks them to trust in God’s provision. They are to rely on the hospitality of others: for food, basic needs, warmth, and shelter.
Even though much of Mark’s Gospel focuses on the inability of the disciples to understand who Jesus is, this story recalls their early decision to follow him and live into his priorities. Doubt reoccurred at several key points in Mark’s Gospel, but the disciples continued to respond to their call, despite their doubts.
This passage presents us with an intentional comparison between two responses to the mission of Jesus. On one hand, we have his family, relatives, and lifelong friends who stand in unbelief at his message, closing themselves off to the possibility of redemptive work among them.
On the other hand, we find the 12, who go with no assurances but the conviction that Jesus’ message is worth sharing, and as they do
- The Gospel calls regular people into the redemptive work of Christ’s mission in and for the world.
Missionis disruptive. Responding to missioncan lead us to challenge the status quo and even reframe long-held relationships.
- The ministry of disciples is an extension of Jesus’ own mission. As
discipleswe are called to share in and continue this mission in every facet of our lives.
- We are to engage in Christ’s mission of healing, peace, and good news, which we have found in our own lives, as we are sent into the world.
Questions to Consider
- How have you felt Christ’s call to mission in your life?
- How has God provided when you’ve been called on to minister?
- How does your congregation respond to the call to engage in Christ’s mission?
Small-group Worship Suggestions
Mark 6:1–13 NRSV
The Facilitator Notes provide an overview of Sacred Space and how to use the resource to best meet ministry needs. This is a must read for first-time users.
The weekly outline and handouts provide everything needed to plan and facilitate a scripture-focused Sacred Space gathering and includes additional options such as Thoughts for Children.
Prayer for Peace
Ring a bell or chime three times slowly.
Light the peace candle.
Creator and Sustainer, We are so weary of war, terrorism, and contention. We long for peace in every part of our world—in every aspect of our lives. We pray for your presence in our hearts, guiding us to efforts that will lead us to a more peaceful and a more perfect understanding.
In the name of your Son, the Prince of Peace, we pray for the coming of his kingdom as peace fills the Earth. Amen.
Unity in Diversity is an Enduring Principle that expresses the diverse nature of the church and our commitment to live our common Christian discipleship as one community. We develop relationships that cross borders, cultures, traditions, and languages. As we read in Roman 12:15, we rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.
Think about the past year. When have you rejoiced? Who rejoiced with you? When did you weep? Who wept with you?
Spend a moment in silent prayer, thanking God for those who rejoiced and wept with you.
Again, think about the past year. With whom did you rejoice when they shared their joy with you? With whom did you weep when they shared their burden with you?
Spend a moment in silent prayer, thanking God for the opportunity to experience joy and sorrow in unity with others.
Invite any who wish to share reflections on the spiritual practice of unity.
Sharing Around the Table
Mark 6:1–13 NRSV
He left that place and came to his hometown, 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 offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, 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.
The people in Jesus’ hometown took offense because they felt Jesus was presuming to be more than he ought to be by their standards. Their inability to see beyond societal expectations and into the depth of his message kept Jesus from performing “deeds of power” in his hometown.
The struggle of discerning his mission within the context of his friends, family, society, and background reminds us that responding to God’s call didn’t come without a cost for Jesus. Yet he believed in his call and extended it to others.
Jesus commissioned 12 followers to join him in proclaiming the coming of God’s kingdom. They were to rely on the hospitality of others and serve as forerunners in his stead. They become partners in ministry and mission.
This passage compares two responses to the mission of Jesus. First, his family, relatives, and lifelong friends are unbelieving and offended by Jesus’ actions. They close themselves off to the possibility of redemptive work among them. In contrast, the 12 disciples believe in the mission of Jesus. They depend on others to sustain them as they go out to offer the healing, reconciling ministry of Jesus.
- How have you felt Christ’s call to serve?
- How has God provided sustenance when you have responded to the call to walk with, care for, or share with others?
- What aspect of healing, peace, or good news have you experienced that you share with others?
“Sharing for the common good is the spirit of Zion” (Doctrine and Covenants 165:2f).
We receive God’s grace and generosity. The offering basket is available if you would like to support ongoing small-group ministries as part of your generous response.
This offering prayer is adapted from A Disciple’s Generous Response:
Covenant God, As we navigate our world of debt and consumerism, help us to save wisely. In this way may we better prepare for the future and create a better tomorrow for our families, friends, the mission of Christ, and the world. Amen.
Invitation to Next Meeting
CCS 582, “You Have Come Down to the Lakeshore”