Some expect God to perform a healing when they pray for a person. We want him to wave his hand over the sick, but in our gospel Jesus goes through a little ritual with his fingers and his spit. Why do we tell God how to do his thing? I had a healing service using the Occasional Service Book from Synod, and a member came forward who was to have heart surgery the next week. We prayed for him, but he was not healed instantly. When he was in the operating room, there was another doctor visiting that day who told about a procedure called angioplasty that he had just perfected back east.
UPCOMING WEEKS In addition to the lectionary resources there are thousands of non-lectionary, scripture based resources...
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.