Thursday, March 8, 2012

Daily Office Reflection: On Parables and Secrets

Psalms (70), 71 * 74; Genesis 42:29-38; 1 Cor 6:12-20; Mark 4:11-34

The Gospel of Mark is filled with the idea of secrets. Jesus doesn't want anyone to know what he is doing, outside of those with whom he has personal contact. The parables are a mystery to those who hear them: we hear today With many such parables he (Jesus) spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

Mark, the first of the Gospels, was written to, and for, a community that had just experienced the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, and were a community under siege from all sides. This explains the tone and tenor of a lot of what we hear. But if we were to take these parables, and the whole of Mark, as metaphor, and we think about this idea of parables and Jesus telling us things as we are able to hear, how would we view the world differently? How would we approach our lives differently?

Almost all of life is experiential, we learn things along the way, we grow and develop. We try out some things, like a suit of clothes, but as we grow and change that new and shiny suit slips to the back of our closet. So, I don't know if Mark and Jesus' parables are so much about "secrets" as about our continued and growing developmental understanding of the richness of God's kingdom all around us; a kingdom that we are meant to foster and nurture and assist in developing.

So, maybe, we don't understand scripture all that well. That doesn't mean we should stop trying.....

Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Before the Wedding, Johnny & Bryan's DC Shindig, 2010.

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