Proper 9 – Year B

2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10; Psalm 48; (or Ezekiel 2:1-5; Psalm 123); 2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-13

“The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls and whispered in the sounds of silence.” – Paul Simon

                Don’t expect cousin Charley to think you are a prophet.  He knew you when you were a kid.  That’s what happened in Nazareth.  Jesus went to his hometown, got up in the synagogue early one Saturday morning, and spoke few words.  The folks that Jesus had known his whole life were impressed.  But they were not that impressed.  They said in effect: Who does he think he is?  We know him.  He’s the carpenter, Mary’s kid.  (Mark 6:2-3)  Then we have Jesus’ immortal memorable come back: “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” (Mark 6:4)  The words “in their own house” imply that even Jesus’ own immediate family did not accept who he was and what he was about.  Our passage for today has two parts.  First Jesus is rejected.  Then he sends his disciples out two by two to carry on his work.  Thanks a lot.  Is this what we have to look forward to?  Jesus’ answer is yes.  He tells his disciples, and us, that if we are unwanted shake the dust from our feet and move on. (Mark 6:11)  If we live long enough, all of us will be rejected for who we are, in one way or another.  This does not mean that we are out there being preachy in a door to door obnoxious way.  If we are true to ourselves in an honest but loving manner there will always be someone who will reject us.  It may be because we are gay or straight, black or white, Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, male or female, Catholic or Baptist, employed or unemployed, fat or skinny.  There will always be someone, with their own poor self-image, snubbing us.  Count on it.  Some things in time may change, like being unemployed or poor or Republican or Catholic.  Other things will not change like being black, gay or female.  But whatever we are at this moment is what God loves, and is speaking through.  We are blessed by God, and by our very being speak of God’s love without even using words, just by being loving.  Jesus says if we are rejected move on.  But if we move on don’t’ think all is lost or we have failed.  If we move on without rancor, resentment, animosity or malice, but with love and self-possession we will leave behind a message from God.  After we have gone on our way the good seeds we have sown will be “written on the subway walls and tenement halls and whispered in the sounds of silence.”  We are prophets by being who we are. (see Greek below)


The word for “prophet” in Greek is a compound word with two parts meaning “to speak for,” in this case to speak for God, just as the sun in the sky speaks for God by being what it is.  We too can radiate the presence of God by simply being true to ourselves.  Then we are prophets, speaking for God.


The sun shines God blessed.

The flower blossoms God blessed.

Why slight these prophets?