Amos 7:12-15; Eph 1:3-14; Mk 6:7-13

Turning Over Stones

Here are some stones I have overturned to see what ideas are underneath. I hope you can grab hold of something, pull -- and discover that it has some homiletic roots for you.

Jesus summoned the Twelve and began to send them out two by two, giving them authority over unclean spirits. He instructed them to take nothing on the journey but a walking stick -- no food, no traveling bag, not a coin in the purses in their belts. They were, however, to wear sandals. Do not bring a second tunic -- he said, and added -- Whatever house you find yourself in, stay there until you leave the locality. If any place will not receive you or hear you, shake its dust from your feet in testimony against them as you leave. With that they went off, preaching the need of repentance. They expelled many demons, anointed the sick with oil, and worked many cures.

Exegetical research on this passage can yield a lot of interesting information about First Century Palestine Garb and hospitality -- but this data did not strike me as particularly preachable this time around. Perhaps in 2003 the Spirit will blow in that very direction.

However, my thoughts have been occupied this week by a couple out-of-the-blue objections from parishioners that this season we are in is called -- ORDINARY TIME. One suggestion was that it should be called TRADITIONAL TIME; for the word ORDINARY sounded too plain or belittling.


Regardless of that debate, it might be an appropriate time to think about this season we are in; for we have a long stretch ahead of us -- 19 weeks stretching until December 2nd to be exact. And, outside of a couple nifty Sundays like the Transfiguration and Christ the King we find our white altar cloth folded neatly in a dark drawer in the sacristy.

Maybe it is a good time to remind ourselves that sometimes life, indeed, is ordinary; but that we still have important work to do.

On various occasions the disciples had been called, they had witnessed Jesus miraculously cure people from fevers, leprosy, paralyzation, and hemorrhages, they had seen Jesus cast out demons by the power of a handful of words, they had seen Jesus command nature by calming a storm, they had heard Jesus command the attention of thousands with his teaching with authority, and they had even seen Jesus raise a young girl from the dead

Not a bad ride.

However, now it is time for Jesus to send his disciples out to work: Ordinary men sent into the ordinary lives of ordinary people -- but to do extraordinary things in His name. It sounds like a good challenge for us in our own ordinary lives here in the season of Ordinary Time.

We know what the disciples wore, and where they were to stay, but what did they do?

With that they went off, preaching the need of repentance. They expelled many demons, anointed the sick with oil, and worked many cures.

They challenged and they loved.

I will try to post some more as soon as I can -- I had an unexpected 9 hour Providence to Baltimore flight delay followed by a cancellation this (Friday) afternoon and evening. A couple more hours and I could have been in Israel! However, for what its worth, I wanted to give you a hint as to which Island my thoughts are swimming

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