Church of England Diocese of Norwich Ringland

Thought for the week of 11th July 2021

10 Jul 2021, 6:01 p.m.

Herod feared John and protected him, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man. When Herod heard John, he was greatly puzzled; yet he liked to listen to him.   Mark 6 : 20

Bible reading : Mark 6 : 14 - 29

Thought for the week

Our Gospel reading this week does not make for easy reading. We hear about the ministry of John the Baptist from the perspective of Herod and his puppet court. It is a clash between secular survival and misused power, and faith and the Kingdom of God. A conflict of allegiances, authority and of choices.

John the Baptist loses his life, but gains eternity with the Lord. Herod has a tenuous grasp of temporary power, and loses all integrity, freedom and most costly of all peace of conscience.

Herod’s position was complex. He owed his position to the Romans, yet he respected John’s faith and ministry, and ‘liked to listen to him’.

All our choices have consequences. Even at the moment choosing to leave our homes, or choosing to pick up the phone. Faith in Jesus enables those choices to become positive, helpful, even life – bringing.

We all regret some choices we have made in our lives. Jesus brings healing and hope. There is always forgiveness in Him (1 John 1 : 9). Jesus promises the past is put behind and we have freedom in Him. Jesus calls us to a new beginning, and to know He is the Lord of our future, the King of love and hope.

Rev Paul

Prayer for today

Merciful God,

you have prepared

for those who love you

such good things as pass our understanding:

pour into our hearts

such love toward you

that we, loving you in all things and above all things,

may obtain your promises,

which exceed all that we can desire;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,