Touchpoints on Mark
“And now I recognize that I am the blind beggar, or the blind beggar is me, just in a different condition. And the command to love my neighbor AS myself isn’t theoretical anymore.”
“But the radical nature of Jesus death and resurrection is that he turns all this on its head, upside down. For Jesus, his death and resurrection don’t bring us to a new point of security, where we can SIT with Jesus, but a new point of servant-hood where we JOURNEY with him back into the world.”
“Deprivation is not the point of this passage. Neither is it the point of the kingdom. The point of the kingdom is in the caring and the sharing of all that we are and all that we have. The point is to live in the reality that all is a gift…and NOTHING is a possession. Or should I say, NOTHING is the only possession.”
“You see, for Jesus, life isn’t about being right or wrong. It’s about relationships. The greatest commandment isn’t, ‘Be right with all your heart soul and mind.’ No, it’s ‘Love with all your heart soul and mind.'”
“Jesus takes on the ultimate exclusions, murder and death. And transforms them into resurrection and life. You see, even exclusion gets taken up into the Mystery and is transformed into healing and wholeness. Jesus forbids forbidding by transforming it, not excluding it.”
“While your relationship with Jesus may be personal, it is not private and neither is your salvation, your healing, or your wholeness. Which, by the way is what the word ‘salvation’ means. It means ‘healing,’ ‘wholeness,’ ‘completeness.’ And none of that can you accomplish alone…in private…personally.”
“We have to let the actions of Jesus, the actions of the Christ, define the Christ. We can’t let our theologies and belief systems determine who God is. God is much bigger than that. It isn’t Law/Gospel. It’s Gospel/Law/Gospel.”
Grace and Peace to you from the mystery in whom we live and move, and have our being. “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Mark 7: 24-37 Let’s get one thing perfectly clear before we begin this Touchpoint… I am not a theologian. I am not Jim Hanson, Sheri Brown, Conrad Braaten, Henry Rojas, or any of the many educated and…
“Like [the Pharisees], we might be a little disappointed to learn, at this late stage in life and after this long trek, that some of the biblical formulas we’ve clung to are wearing thin.”
Jesus knows the trap that comes with having many followers. Because of the wilderness, he knows the danger and allure of popularity and power. He knows the importance of taking moments in a deserted place to be reminded of our true identity.
I am, just like Herod, deeply invested and complicitly enmeshed in saving face.
To shake off the dust you’ve picked up following Jesus is to leave something holy behind. Dare we hope – as we leave a place where we are not welcome – to leave behind a little peace, a little joy, to leave a tinge of compassion hanging in the air?