Purpose Statement: We need to deal with our fear of growing old.
"Fear" may not be the right word, however most people do not want to grow old. If we could, many of us might choose perpetual youth and become like Little Orphan Annie, Dagwood and Blondie, or their children. These folks found the fountain of youth as Annie appeared on the scene as a youth in 1924 and remained a youth ever since. Alexander and Cookie Bumstead have been children or teenagers for fifty or sixty years. The incongruity doesn't seem to bother us; what does bother us is our growing old. We can:
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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.