Jabbok Dawn

Tumbling in the Sand

Welcoming Curiosity

The texts for Sunday, September 23,2012 (Lectionary 25): Jeremiah 11:18–20Psalm 54James 3:13—4:3; 4:7–8a; and Mark 9:30–37.

… So, we’ll start at the beginning of Mark’s narrative:
Jesus tells the disciples in flat out, plain language:
“The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands,
and they will kill him,
and three days after being killed, he will rise again.”

Now, that makes perfect sense to us in hindsight.
Of course, everything makes sense after the resurrection.
Suffering, death, betrayal,
all has profound meaning
redeemed value
after the resurrection.
And, since we are looking at it all
on the other side of that empty tomb
it seems plain as day to us.

But to the disciples this makes no sense whatsoever.
In fact, it’s horrible, senseless news.

It’s like when someone you love and respect
tells you that they’ve got cancer
and the doctor has given them a couple of months to live.

In that kind of news,
you stand there as waves of grief wash over you
You don’t know what to say.
You don’t understand.
You don’t want to understand.
And as you face the gaping unknown of death
what is there even to ask?

And, so, the disciples stand there with that kind of grief.

At the same time, there is this added level of confusion
because, well, no matter how clearly Jesus speaks no one ever seems to really understand him
and so they feel confused and stupid at the same time.

So, they are sad, they are confused, and … they are embarrassed.

Because, well, they didn’t understand and felt like they should.

You know, that is one thing about children that I envy.
I have yet to see a young child act like they should understand when they don’t.
that is an adult problem.

And it’s a really interesting adult problem.
because it’s exactly the kind of problem that could lead to
the argument the disciples were having on the road to Capernum…

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This entry was posted on September 23, 2012 by in Sermons and tagged , , , , , , .

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