Mark 6:1-6 NRSV
He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. 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! 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. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
A Word of Hope
Today is Ash Wednesday. From my Baptist upbringing in Houston, TX, my church and pastor did not do anything specific for Ash Wednesday nor Lent. My first exposure was coming to Cathedral of Hope and observing the liturgical activities during this season.
I decided for my first Lenten endeavor I would read the book by Iylanya Vanzant named “One Day My Soul Just Opened Up: 40 Days and 40 Nights Toward Spiritual Strength and Personal Growth.” It was spiritually enlightening and liberating as I journaled my thoughts and experiences. In subsequent years, I used the book “40-Day Journey with Maya Angelou” by Henry F. Finch and “40-Day Journey with Dietrich Bonhoeffer” by Ron Klug for my Lenten studies.
The scripture above talks about Jesus sharing wisdom and knowledge to people in his hometown. The crowds were amazed at his intellect and acuity. They remembered him as Mary and Joseph’s son – the carpenter. They remembered him only as a child, not a wise young person willing to share wisdom with all that wanted to hear him. They were unbelievers even as he stood in their midst healing the sick and spreading the Word of God to all that would listen. They responded like a carpenter, a person from their hometown, could not get wisdom and be acknowledged as the Son of God.
How many times have you encountered someone that went away to school – college or a trade school and you were amazed at the knowledge they shared when they came home? It happens a lot more than we will publicly acknowledge. We all have the opportunity to grow as God blesses those that are willing to invest in learning a new trade, the Bible, or even a new ministry. This Lenten season, you can use the next 40 days to enhance your skills, talents, or your mind, and be a witness for all that God can do with you and for you, as well as those you encounter.
Dear Creator of the Universe: Over the next 40 days may our belief and faith in you, God, grow, so that all who are willing to make an investment to study and learn with an open mind for themselves and others, so that all may know God’s grace, mercy and unconditional love through our presence. May it be so. Amen!
Reverend Winner Laws
Cathedral of Hope Staff