Good morning, boys and girls. How many of you have ever played pin the tail on the donkey? (Let them answer.) When you play that game what special thing happens to the one trying to pin the tail? (Let them answer.) That person wears a blindfold like this one. (Show them the blindfold.) Why does that person have to wear a blindfold? (Let them answer.) The person wears a blindfold so that he can't see the donkey. After the blindfolded person places his tail where he thinks it belongs, then he takes off his blindfold to see exactly how closely he guessed where the tail belongs.
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Oscar Wilde penned a powerful story about behaviors and definitions and justice called The Picture of Dorian Gray. Dorian was a handsome young man, a model of physical beauty and moral virtue. People complimented him on his good graces. Parents pointed to him as an example to their youth. One artist even painted an exquisite portrait of him.
"Have you seen it?" whispered the Barbie doll to her next door neighbour.
The next Barbie doll in line was instantly alert. There were five different Barbie dolls, who lived jumbled together in the toy cupboard but who were so jealous of each other that they rarely spoke. "Seen what?" asked the second Barbie doll, blue eyes darting all round the room.
"The Princess," replied the first Barbie with glee. "Caitlin's done her hair and it looks terrible!"
These verses from Mark's gospel are a call to commitment, a call to sacrifice, and a call to give up everything of earthly value in life. To say these are difficult verses is truly an understatement. It is pretty clear that the disciples are not at all ready for what Jesus is saying. They are not ready for Jesus to die and they certainly are not ready to die themselves.