From the mouth of babes: Little Kimmy, aged five, was trying to deal with the death of her grandfather. She had been told that Opa had died and was with Jesus now in heaven. Then Kimmy heard the reading in church about the living bread, and whoever eats of Jesus the living bread would live forever. She was confused and asked her grandmother, “Oma, why didn’t Opa eat Jesus, ’cause then he wouldn’t have died.” Grandma then gently explained that eating the living bread meant believing in Jesus, and that because Opa had believed he was now living in heaven with Jesus. That satisfied Kimmy ...
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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.