Garbage truck driver, Craig Randall, brings his work home with him sometimes. There was that old-fashioned sewing machine he found. There were some books he rescued from the trash. And then there was that soft-drink cup that just happened to be worth $200,000. Neither Randall nor his fiancée really believed it until he drove his garbage truck up to the restaurant and picked up the check. Twenty-three-year-old Randall said he lifted the cup from a pile of trash while he was on his route in south Boston. He can't remember exactly where he found it (or he won't say).
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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.