What I’m Reading Today: Mark 6:1-29
I had a wonderful experience yesterday. I was blessed to have the opportunity to sit down with one of the individuals in the congregation I serve and spend some time in conversation. I LOVE doing that as you get to learn things about individuals when you sit face-to-face that you would otherwise never learn in larger groups. We spent the better part of an hour sharing thoughts and life experiences.
As we were nearing the end of our time together, the individual happened to mention she spoke another language. I got VERY excited because multi-cultural commitments are a huge piece of my practice of ministry. In fact nearly every month when I serve communion, I make a point of offering the liturgy in various languages as a way of embodying my belief that the Communion experience is - at its core - a global (or universal) experience. I would have never known about the individual’s linguistic gift, if I had not taken the time to sit down and get to know her.
The experience was yet another reminder that so often in our lives, we settle for getting to know one another in rather superficial ways. We hear a part of someone’s story and think we can fill in the rest. When we do that, however, we cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to get to know each other.
That’s exactly what happened in the passage I read today from the Gospel of Mark. In that passage, the folks in Jesus’ hometown only got to know Jesus superficially. They knew him simply as a carpenter, as Mary’s boy, and as the brother of James, Justus, Jude, and Simon. When it came to getting to know Jesus at a deeper level, however, Jesus’ neighbors fell flat on their faces. As Eugene Peterson noted in his paraphrase of Mark 6:4-5: “They tripped over what little they knew about him and fell, sprawling. And they never got any further.”
Maybe there are individuals in your life that you have not invested enough time and energy getting to know: individuals whose gifts and graces could be a HUGE blessing in your life if only you found time to get to know them. If that’s the case, I would encourage you to make some time this week and invite one of those persons to sit down with you for some conversation. You just might be surprised (and blessed by) what you learn.
Til next time…