From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 7th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

School is officially out for the summer! I love this time of year as I get to spend more time with the kids, we can go outside freely without worrying so much about cold and rain, and quite frankly waking those kids up for school is a daily nightmare. So summer is great!

After school ended, we took the kids to the mall to enjoy the air conditioning (which wasn’t that great actually) and get some food court food that we never done together as a family since before the pandemic started. We were all in a good mood, so we decided the kids can choose a prize of sorts from the mall for completing another school year.

Whenever we do this (allow them to choose something to buy), I sometimes get worried. One of the kids wants everything, like literally everything, so we have to be careful that they don’t choose things that are too expensive or we’d go broke. Another kid always chooses stuff that they’ll never use again, so we have to be careful that they choose something that won’t end up being just wasteful. And the third kid… well this was our dialogue:

“You can choose a gift for yourself for a year-end prize”
“Just for a prize for completing the year successfully, and you all worked really hard this year.”
“Oh. Can I have a poutine?”
“You can, but that’s food so you would have gotten that anyway.”
“Oh, ok. Then how about two poutines?”

I had to laugh. At least this one is practical and lives within our means. We wouldn’t let any of them go crazy anyway, as we set a spend limit on their choices (and the first poutine wasn’t finished anyway, and had to be taken home as leftovers).

Here are the readings for next week:
Amos 7:7-15
Psalm 85:8-13
Ephesians 1:3-14
Mark 6:14-29

As strange/funny as our kids’ requests are for their prize, at least they were reasonable. They knew their limit and stayed well within them, which is more than I can for some other people’s kids… This story about John the baptizer’s demise is a sickening one, that someone would treat another life so callously. And not just a single someone, but every single person that was there witnessing the event.

Anyone could have said something. Anyone should have said anything. There should have been an outrage over the injustice of it all among those people of power present, but instead they allowed it all to happen. I suppose all the greed, selfishness, and pretentiousness got the best of them and Herodias got her revenge.

But the good news there is that even death didn’t keep John’s message about God’s forgiveness down. It is alive in Jesus, whose teaching triggered the memory of John in Herod, and it is alive in us as we live as resurrection people with grace and mercy toward others. The message is in our communities, our families, and even in our kids.

This doesn’t mean that it’s ok that John was killed in such a horrific way, but it does mean that his life had meaning and purpose and helped to contribute to and grow the kingdom of God. The writer of Mark knew this, Jesus knows this, and even Herod grew to realise this, better late than never.

May the message of God’s love and grace be passed on to the generations, that we all have a role to play in the growth of God’s kingdom.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Tim Cooper on Unsplash

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