Second Lesson Sermons For Sundays After Pentecost (First Third) Cycle C
A farm family had some friends from the city come to visit. The friends had a young boy who had never experienced life on a farm. To make his visit somewhat more memorable, the hostess took the little boy with her out to the henhouse when she went to gather eggs. The little boy was puzzled by what he saw, because on the way out of the henhouse he asked, "Why do you keep your eggs out here? My mom keeps hers in the refrigerator!"
Just like that little boy, the observers at the first Pentecost were a little puzzled by what was going on.
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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.