Friday, February 25, 2011

Mark 16 - explaining yesterday's blog; power for the powerless; and rest

I feel compelled to clarify the meaning of yesterday's blog entry. I was not implying that modern-day Vermont would crucify Jesus, at the UVM Water Tower or anywhere else. Instead I rather clumsily tried to make the Passion less "mythic" and more "real" by conjuring a contemporary time and place. My apologies to anyone for the confusion.

I will add this caveat however: "If you have done it unto the least of these, you have done it unto me." Someday in church I will sing a powerful black gospel song, "Poor Little Jesus Child, We Didn't Know Who You Were." The singer laments the world's awful treatment of the son of God but comments, "that's how things is down here." One of the many profound messages of the Passion is that godly society must not victimize the outcast, the downtrodden, the stranger who seems to threaten the status quo. Better to humbly work out our differences as neighbors. 

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I feel for the women of Sunday morning, fast friends of Jesus, far more faithful witnesses of Friday's horror than was boastful Peter. In love they watched Jesus die, powerless to do anything; in love they visit the tomb to prepare his body for formal burial but are once again powerless. "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"

But God, but God, but God! Who but He could send an angel to push away the stone as if it were a dust bunny. The last verse of the book (v. 20) confirms the same dynamic: "the Lord worked with them (the disciples) and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it." He does not leave us powerless; indeed the trick is to leverage the very heavy stones on our chests in such a way that we press into God and His power. It really doesn't matter how heavy the pressure is, just so long as we respond to it by pressing into God, and not away from Him.

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I have been blogging daily for two weeks straight now, since the day after Diane's funeral. The "Chapter A Day" format provides for short breaks now and then. God willing I will post the Luke 1 entry early next week. 

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