Sunday 8th July 2018
7th Sunday after Pentecost

2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10; Psalm 48; 2 Corinthians 12:2-10; Mark 6:1-13

(Alternatives: Ezekiel 2:1-5 Psalm 123))

All of today’s readings touch in some way or other on a key issue for the world of work. Whether we reflect on David, Ezekiel or Jesus, each is recognised as having an authority that extends beyond their immediate role or appointment. It is what many in the world of management would describe as “charismatic leadership.” But the Biblical narrative recognises that this natural aptitude to lead or speak in a particular situation emerges through the anointing of God. The Apostle Paul reflects to the Corinthians his own experience of heavenly insight and wisdom, equipping him for his task despite the struggles and weaknesses of his physical situation.

The readings from Psalms locate this individual experience in a broader reality. Amidst the symbols of civic life, political power and earthly monarchy, God rules overall; those who experience the well-being of Zion are invited to recognise this as a symbol of God’s presence and sovereignty. This raises a significant challenge to all those in leadership and management in today’s world, particularly at a time when widespread questions are being asked about the morality and values of our economic systems and structures. Society is increasingly recognising the shortcomings of systems of power that have no moral regulation; these Scriptures are a powerful reminder that earthly leadership and authority is rooted in God’s order, and should be exercised with a sense of responsibility to Him. This recognises the vital connection and need for faith values at the heart of the world of work.