2 Kings 5:1-14; Psalm 30; (Isaiah 66:10-14; Psalm 66:1-9;) Galatians 6:(1-6), 7-16; Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
Ezekiel 2:1-5 (Psalm 123); 2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-13 | Semi-continuous first reading: 2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10 (Psalm 48)
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Psalm 45:10-17 or Song of Solomon 2:8-13; (Zechariah 9:9-12; Psalm 145:8-14;) Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
The villagers of Nazareth knew Jesus, and they thought him to be nothing special.
The closest I get to the kind of religious experience the apostle Paul describes in 2 Corinthians 12 is the occasional Sunday when the music and the congregation merge in worship that is unrestrained praise. I especially enjoy communion, since the Eucharist itself is designed to anticipate heaven. With our sins confessed and forgiven, peace made and prayers prayed, we experience an unusual unity with God and with each other. It’s a taste of paradise.
"Do not touch.” “Do not taste.” “Don’t walk on the grass.” What is it about me that wants to do exactly what signs instruct me not to do? The warnings are probably for my benefit. The signs are not evil. So why do they bring out the worst in me?
For a Christian, freedom means being the one whom God intends us to be.
We were at the lake, my daily walking spot. I had brought a friend who needed to talk. Her head was down as if she were searching for meaning, hope and traces of God’s ways in the ruts of the muddy path. My head was down too, in silent solidarity. We walked. Suddenly I missed a familiar pitter-patter—my dog was nowhere to be seen.
Even with Paul's wish to serve, even with his good motives, the Lord does not answer his prayer as he asked or expected.