A way to live in the mission field of the community:
Avoid promising too much to someone who pleases you.
Based on Mark 6:14-19 (see a readable retelling below); a reading that comes from the Revised Common Lectionary for the Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, 7/15/18.
Herod hears of the works of Jesus and his disciples. Some were saying Jesus’ power was the power of John, the Baptist, whom Herod had killed but is now raised from the dead. [The story of John’s death follows.]
Herod arrested John because John had criticized Herod’s marriage to Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife [such a marriage is prohibited by Leviticus 18:16 and 20:21]. Herodias wanted to kill John but could not because Herod, her husband, respected John and kept him safe. While John perplexed Herod, Herod wanted to hear what he had to say.
Herod celebrated his birthday with a big party for his courtiers and the town’s leaders. Herodias’ daughter came to dance and danced well and that she pleased Herod and his guests immensely Herod promised to give the girl whatever she asked for. She consulted her mother, Herodias, about what to ask for and was told to ask for the head of John, the Baptist. The daughter immediately asked Herod for John’s head on a platter. Herod was angry but could not break his promise made before all of his guests. Herod sent a soldier for John’s head. The soldier returned with John’s head on a platter and gave it to the daughter.
When John’s disciples heard of it, they came and took his body and buried it in a tomb.
A theme: Beware of making promises you cannot keep.