A post from The Formational Pastor

Revised Common Lectionary:  Amos 7:7-15, Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29


Seed A:  Though John’s murder was truly ghastly, this might be an opportunity to spend a little time looking at Herod’s actions not only self-aggrandizing but also self-protective.  It’s easy to see the bravado with which he made the promise to Herodias’ daughter, wanting to impress all his banquet guests with his magnificent generosity.  It’s also possible to see that his follow-through was face-saving – he didn’t want those same guests to think he was a piker, now did he?  So to protect both his reputation and himself he gave the order to have John beheaded.

Perhaps this could be an opportunity to examine our own hearts and lives to see what kinds of self-protective, face-saving actions we’ve taken recently.  No, they don’t have to have the same ghastly consequences as Herod’s, but yes, they have the same root – some deep core longing that remains unsatisfied, that somehow we think we have to take care of ourselves.  What’s the better solution?  See the next paragraph.

Seed B:  Look at Saint Paul’s list in Ephesians of all the things that the Lord has done for His people – make that, for you.  Go ahead, put your name in there wherever he writes “us” – He chose you, He predestined you, He adopted you, and on and on.  Now connect each one of these things with one or more of the Core Longings we’ve learned – Belonging, Purpose, Love, Understanding, Safety / Security, Significance.  See how each God has richly met your core longings already, filling them to the brim with Himself?  Where else should we go to have them met but in Him?