Unforgivable sin?

Second Sunday after Pentecost; 6 June 2021; Proper 5B (RCL); 1 Samuel 8:4-21, 11:14-15; Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35.

This year, we jump into Mark’s Gospel right in the midst of developing controversy (we’ve skipped over propers 1 – 4). Jesus’ family shows up, questioning his sanity, and then scribes arrive from Jerusalem accusing him of blasphemy (of using Satan’s power to cast out demons). After a retort from Jesus, the story returns to the question of Jesus’ family.

Continue reading “Unforgivable sin?”


10 June 2018
Third Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 5B (RCL)

1 Samuel 8:4-15; 11:14-15
Psalm 138
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1
Mark 3:20-35

There is a strong strand of tradition in the historical writings that sees the monarchy as a failure of faith on Israel’s part. We have here one of the clearest expressions of that tradition. The author warns the people that a king will enslave them just as Joseph and Pharaoh did in Egypt. The Joseph story, cited as one of the clearest examples of the Wisdom tale of the suffering righteous one who is finally vindicated by God, also contains in it a stern critique of Joseph. Joseph ended up enslaving his own people. One wonders if this is a critique leveled by Judah against Ephraim, Joseph being part of the Northern pantheon. Here, Israel, as so often throughout the story of the Exodus, desires to return to Egypt. Reliance on God isn’t as easy as it seems — much easier to have the certainty of knowing one’s place in the scheme of things, even if that place is at the bottom of the pyramid. Continue reading “Kin(g)ship”