getting out the Word

the 7th sunday after pentecost

the PRAYER …

O God, from you come all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works. Give to us, your servants, that peace which the world cannot give, that our hearts may be set to obey your commandments; and also that we, being defended from the fear of our enemies, may live in peace and quietness, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


King Herod heard of [the disciples’ preaching,] for Jesus’ name had become known. mark 6:14-29


Growing up, I don’t remember hearing much about it … the red letter version of the bible! I’m sure it was around. Just never heard about it. For us, a bible was a bible was a bible! Apparently, though, some had Jesus’ words set apart in red ink. What he said was different from what anyone else – from what everyone else – said. The words stood out! They were set apart! More noteworthy! More important! This week, for instance, the passage from Mark would be entirely in black. Jesus says nothing. In fact, Jesus isn’t, even, there!

But it’s interesting. It isn’t Jesus’ words that get Herod thinking. It isn’t what Jesus says that sparks the memory of John’s execution. It’s what Jesus’ disciples are saying! It’s the words in black that are making the difference! King Herod, we’re told, hears their preaching! And it’s because of that, he wonders. Sometimes it’s what’s said, not by the teacher, but by the students that matters most! It’s what’s spoken by the learners that catches people’s attention and piques their interest! It isn’t simply, the “thus saith the Lord,” but the “thus-saith-the-church!” Red ink or not! Maybe, sometimes, it’s not the red letters. The things Jesus says. But sometimes, it’s just the plain, old, everyday black letters that make the difference. After all, we expect to hear Christlike things from Christ. But it surprises us when we hear Christlike things coming from the church!