“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Lenten Labyrinth Walks 27/40, Avondale Pesbyterian Church – Charlotte NC: No pics today … but a great walk … A few quotes …
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
– Fred “Mr.” Rogers
March 19 Mark 7:1-23 Erika Funk Beneath this story of ritual hand washing is the literary tool of stereotyping. Mark sets up the characters to play their predictable roles: the mean and Puritanical Pharisees, the naive and teachable disciples and the radical hero Jesus.The problem with stereotypes is that they condition us to think very narrowly about not only groups of people but individuals as well. We think we “know” them. We trust them to act a certain way.
Here’s when “trust” becomes a negative. In Mark’s story the Pharisees assume they know Jesus’ motives. They trust they know who Jesus is and what his agenda is. As readers we trust that the disciples are not going to understand what’s going on and push Jesus for an explanation. Which is very helpful to us because we don’t always know what’s going on in Jesus’ mind either.
Lent might be a good time to ask ourselves what are the assumptions we make about Jesus and his agenda. When we say we trust in God – what exactly do we expect God to do or be in our minds? Can we trust God to be something other than a stereotype? Can we trust people we don’t understand to be vessels of God’s word?
Prayer: Lord, as we walk this journey to the cross with you help us with our stereotypes and expectations. Shine a light onto our hearts so we may see the ways we may not always honor you.
The Infinite Value of LifeSome people live long lives, some die very young. Is a long life better than a short life? What truly counts is not the length of our lives but their quality. Jesus was in his early thirties when he was killed. ThÈrËse de Lisieux was in her twenties when she died. Anne Frank was a teenager when she lost her life. But their short lives continue to bear fruit long after their deaths.
A long life is a blessing when it is well lived and leads to gratitude, wisdom, and sanctity. But some people can live truly full lives even when their years are few. As we see so many young people die of cancer and AIDS let us do everything possible to show our friends that, though their lives may be short, they are of infinite value.
For further reflection …
“I praise you because I am wonderfully made… my frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” – Psalm 139: 14 – 16 (NIV)