Pentecost 7, 2024

The Sundays after Pentecost can be hard. The Bible can be hard to read. It sometimes tells me things I do not want to hear. Ezekiel’s call vision is one of those things. I want God to send me to a time and place where people want to believe, where the Gospel bears its amazing fruit. Instead sometimes I feel that I am casting seed upon the hard, stony, and briar-infested ground.

Jesus sends out the disciples today, but only after He Himself is rejected in Nazareth. They won’t listen to Him. His siblings, parents, and others are there. Jesus, it says, can only do a few miracles because of their unbelief. Of all Scripture, this passage seems to me to be one of the most disheartening. And then He sends them out. Yet, Mark does not leave us with this dismal word and Jesus’ own admonitions about what to do when people reject them and their message. He ends on hope. They did miracles, cast out demons, healed the sick. People believed.

Ezekiel also would eventually be heard. The people who returned from Exile were not the Baal worshippers whom God had sent out of Jerusalem under Nebuchadnezzar’s whip. They built synagogues, reverenced the Torah, strove to keep it, even if they failed. It was a different people who came home. What is our Lord up to today? I cannot say. But I have hope.

Scroll to Top