Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

Lectionary Readings

Ezekiel 2:1-5

1 He said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. 2 And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. 3 He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. 4 The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.” 5 Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

Psalm 123

1 To you I lift up my eyes,
    O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
2 As the eyes of servants
    look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
    to the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
    until he has mercy upon us.

3 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy upon us,
    for we have had more than enough of contempt.
4 Our soul has had more than its fill
    of the scorn of those who are at ease,
    of the contempt of the proud.

2 Corinthians 12:2-10

2 I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3 And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows— 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. 5 On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. 6 But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, 7 even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. 8 Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, 9 but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

Mark 6:1-13

1 He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 2 On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. 4 Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” 5 And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. 6 And he was amazed at their unbelief.

Then he went about among the villages teaching. 7 He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. 10 He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. 13 They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

Liturgical Elements

Call to Worship

Psalm 123:1-2

To you I lift up my eyes,
    O you who are enthroned in the heavens!
As the eyes of servants
    look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid
    to the hand of her mistress,

so our eyes look to the Lord our God,
    until he has mercy upon us.

Prayer of Confession

Based on Ezekiel 2:1-5; Mark 6:1-5; 2 Corinthians 12:10

Lord Jesus,we confess that we can be
a rebellious and stubborn people.
With our mouths we profess you as Lord,
but in our lives we harbor disbelief,
doubting your wisdom, power, and mighty deeds.

Take away our hardness of heart, and fill us with childlike faith
in your prophetic Word and comforting presence.
Grant us contentment in all that comes our way:
weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities;
for when we are weak, then we are strong.
In Christ's name we pray. Amen.

Assurance of Forgiveness

2 Corinthians 12:9

Brothers and sisters, the Lord speaks over us, saying:
My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Song of Response

Lead Sheet (congregational key)

Affirmation of Faith

Based on Mark 6:7-13

We believe that Jesus called the twelve disciples
and sent them out two by two,
giving them authority over the unclean spirits. 

To demonstrate their faith and dependence upon the Lord,
we believe that Jesus ordered them to take nothing for their journey
except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts.

We believe they went out and proclaimed that all should repent.
We believe they cast out many demons,
and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.

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