Olav recalls the time over fifty years ago when he first accepted Jesus as his Lord and
Savior. At the time, Estonia was under the domination of the Soviet Union. For that
reason he claims that it was dangerous to be a confessing Christian. People feared being
arrested in their homes and sent to Siberia.
He was invited to a prayer meeting where over 100 people had gathered. At the end of the
service the pastor asked if there was anyone who wanted to commit to following Jesus.
"After a brief inner struggle," Olav reflects, "I decided to open my heart and ask Christ
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.