Sunday July 4, 2021
Mark 6:1-6, today’s gospel, invites us to reflect on wisdom. Jesus comes back to his native place and people wonder how he became filled with such ease and authority, with such wisdom. People around Jesus were both astonished at his gift and also afraid of it. They questioned his beginnings. They thought they knew his roots being a carpenter and the son of Mary. They took offense at him because wisdom has a cutting edge. People familiar with Jesus grew jealous because of the gift he was given and his expression of such a gift in the world. People were both curious and afraid. His folks were warmed by his wise heart and at the same time felt the heat of him seeming to be better than others. Wisdom changed many of Jesus’ relationships, including those who were closest to him.
Wisdom is challenging to many people. Many folks like mediocrity. Sometimes it seems to be a more comfortable place to be, because to engage in wisdom means change for everyone. So, in the middle of the summer, it is difficult to participate is such a profound gift of wisdom proclaimed by the gospel. Yet, this scripture invites us into such a reflection on this Fourth of July weekend.
We are unshuttering our lives from the pandemic. This weekend, our enthusiasm about life is flapping in the wind, in a weekend that for many people is carefree, a time away from the daily grind of work. However, we still live with responsibilities of caring for our families and our faith communities and our nation. Our common values are lived not in whim or fancy. They are grounded in love and hope. This is our faith, genuine care and concern for our neighbor and for the real issues of our lives. Wisdom, even on the waning months of a pandemic, remains challenging at best for all of us.
As we celebrate Independence Day, I wonder what it means for us to seek wisdom. For in faith, community means learning an inter-dependence, since the source of wisdom is community. Having a sense of community is a real starting place for many people as we eek our way out of the pandemic. What will community be like now? How will we learn to trust one another? What is it that we all want from our communities? Are we expecting too much? Can we grieve the loss of family gatherings, hugs, handshakes and socializing, all from this past year? How will wisdom form our lives, our churches and our world?
There is much to ponder as we celebrate the Fourth of July. Our common life is deeper than eating hot dogs and lighting sparklers. We have many roads and options to consider. Faith always deepens our lives and broadens our horizons. Wisdom helps us expand our notion of God and how to live in the world. Wisdom broadens our world view, expands our imaginations of caring for the planet, the earth, the sea, and every person under heaven. Wisdom is not a luxury, but a way of believing in God with our lives firmly planted on earth.
Jesus healed people; these were miraculous actions. Jesus continues such awesome wonders.
“Where did this man get all of this?”
God give you peace.