Thursday, March 19, 2015, Day 26
Mark 10:32-52 (NRSV)
We're now beginning to turn toward Jerusalem and the tension is beginning to build.
Jesus continues to share with the disciples about his suffering, death and resurrection. They still don't understand and the problem may be cultural.
|Sometimes we don't question the road|
that we're on until we have a decision to make.
So when James and John ask to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus "in his glory", we sometimes think they are talking about heaven. It is likely that they were talking about when he takes the throne in Jerusalem.
When blind Bartimaeus begins to shout at Jesus calling him "Son of David" many try to silence him, not because he was causing a ruckus but because this was the title for the Messiah and it was treasonous. Most Judeans didn't want the judgment of Rome falling too near them because as any subjugated people know, it just might splash up on you whether you are innocent or not.
Bartimaeus is blind just as the disciples are blind. When he regains his sight, he begins to follow Jesus as well.
Culture is something that we don't often question. It is there in the background, unrealized.
As I first heard about the overt racism at the University of Oklahoma over the SAE fraternity, I begin to wonder, "Is this part of our culture?"
Am I blind to certain racist practices that exist and I just don't see because I'm one of the majority?
When Jesus does finally break through and allow me to see, I wonder if we don't often go back to blindness because it is more comfortable. Or at least less challenging.
Are there things in our culture that keep us from welcoming Jesus today for who he really is?
Am I willing to move past them?
Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:
Lord we pray this day mindful of the sorry confusion of our world. Look with mercy upon this generation of your children so steeped in misery of their own contriving, so far strayed from your ways and so blinded by passions. We pray for the victims of tyranny, that they may resist oppression with courage. We pray for the wicked and cruel, whose arrogance reveals to us what the sin within our own hearts is like when it has conceived and brought forth its final fruit.
We pray for ourselves who live in peace and quietness, that we may not regard our good fortune as proof of our virtue, or rest content to have our ease at the price of others' sorrow and tribulation.
We pray for all who have some vision of your will, despite the confusions and betrayals of human sin, that they humbly and resolutely plan for and fashion the foundations of a just peace between people, even while they seek to preserve what is fair and just among us against the threat of malignant powers.
Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, 20th Century
Photo by Richard Croft [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons