We want you ... but we don't want you. We want you to rip open the heavens and be righteously angry ... but we don't want you to be angry at us. It's like little Sam: "Do you want applesauce or peaches for dinner, Sam?" "I want both!" "Do you want to watch television or help me make cookies, Sam?" "I want both!" "Do you want this white shirt or this blue shirt, Sam?" "I want both!" We can't have both, even though that's what we really want. We want to be serious adults, but we really just want to have a good time. We want to go to church, but we don't want to change our lives.
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.