We have a complicated reading from Mark today: long and filled with nuggets to examine. There seems to be a thread that ties this complex selection together that is both inspiring and troubling. Jesus returns to the temple in Jerusalem today, after having recently chased out the money-changers and those who created a market atmosphere in that sacred space, and he is challenged by the elders of that place: who are obviously upset with him bringing change to the traditions and customs that had settled in over time. He challenges them right back and then tells a parable about ungrateful and self-involved individuals who ignore the workings of God around them, and ends by saying that the dismissed thing becomes that upon which an unimaginably grand thing is built....being God's marvelous work.
Throughout these verses there is a persistence that resonates: God does not give up. We may be, and are, and will be, challenged to examine what we are doing. We may, and will, and are getting "it" wrong on occasion. But we also, at times, get "it" right too. Just as God keeps knocking at the hard-headed doors of our conscience and hearts, so we should never be discouraged enough to give up. We pick up the pieces at those times when things fall apart, and start again, knowing that this love that God is surrounding us with will help us to keep on keeping on.
Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.