Sunday 15th July 2018
8th Sunday after Pentecost

2 Samuel 6:1-5, 12b-19; Psalm 24; Ephesians 1:3-14; Mark 6:14-29

(Alternatives: Amos 7:7-15; Psalm 85:8-13)

The Old Testament and Gospel readings are held together today by a common theme of dancing. There is an obvious connection here with the world of work, highlighting the task of those who engaged in dancing, music and other aspects of the performing arts. But the dances of David and Salome are performed to quite different ends - one is seeking to celebrate and express an overwhelming sense of God’s goodness and enabling; the other is manipulatively pursuing quite unwholesome ends.

This opens up a much broader workplace theme. We can often define the “spirituality” of a particular role by the specific tasks that it entails; yet we are reminded here that such definition can often have more to do with the underlying purpose and intent than the task itself. These readings invite us to engage in the day to day business of our own lives, whether that be in a place of work, home or local community, with a sense of vocation, and the possibilities of using whatever skills and gifts we have to bring glory to God.

The Psalms and epistles remind us that everything is a gift from God, and that even in the most difficult of circumstances, we are nonetheless surrounded by the love that He has lavished upon us. Within these realities lie renewed inspiration and encouragement to engage in the tasks of any day with a sense of God’s calling.