A lady bought a parrot from a retired sailor. It had one bad habit: it used swear words sometimes. She wanted to break him of the habit.
There was a parsonage next door, and one day a different pastor moved in, and he owned a parrot. The lady got a bright idea and talked to the minister about it.
She said: "My parrot used to belong to a sailor, and the bird picked up the bad habit of using swear words. I would like to borrow your parrot and put its cage next to my parrot's cage. Maybe your parrot would help me break my parrot's bad habit of swearing."
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.