Every boy I knew growing up in the Midwest loved this story. We acted it out. We imagined ourselves as David, the shepherd boy, with nothing but a sling and a few smooth stones. Goliath represented for us every neighborhood bully who had ever picked on us. Of course, we only had dime-store slingshots. You know the kind where you pulled back the bungee cord-like launcher with the little patch in the middle and tried to nail your target. The idea that David pegged Goliath with nothing but a leather strap and a pouch you swirl in the air made the story all the more dramatic.
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.