It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Reflection on readings for February 21

Do not forsake me, O Lord;
O my God, do not be far from me,
make haste to help me,
O Lord, my salvation.
(Psalm 38:21-21)

Leviticus 11:1-12:8
Insights gained from reading Leviticus, You Have No Idea, by Maurice D. Harris: Chapter 11 is filled with instructions detailing when a person, animal, or object is pure or impure. These rules seem strange or unnecessary to us post-scientific-revolution and post-Enlightenment people. What seems normal to us is framed by our context. But, even with all our scientific knowledge and Enlightenment insights, we moderns still can recognize the importance of transforming people and things who have become impure into pure.

Mark 5:21-43
Earlier lessons from Mark: From a small seed grows a large tree. Parables are used for people not ready to hear the explanation. In a storm, even disciples get scared. In the calm, even disciples wonder who Jesus is.

Two people approach Jesus. Like the disciples in the storm, they are in trouble. Like them, they turn to Jesus. Unlike them, one of those approaching him is a leader of the synagogue. He comes publicly. The other is a woman who has been suffering from a hemorrhage for over a decade.

An insider and an outsider. Both have faith in him. (Remember yesterday's reading--Jesus performs exorcisms in gentile territory.)

The disciples seem pretty much oblivious. He healed a woman right in front of them, but they don't notice. They are overwhelmed by the crowd.

Not the main point, but an interesting one, nevertheless. What great healings of ungreat people are happening and we don't see it or expect it?

We are told that Jesus healed the woman's long-time ailment, but would anyone in the crowd have known? Could Jairus' friends have known what had happened--after all, they were in the house at the time. (Sideline: watch for "in the house" in this gospel).

How much should we criticize these religious insiders that they don't think that Jesus could possibly do anything for Jairus' daughter?

It's a continuing question for us, too, because we are asked to believe in things that we have not witnessed directly, and in things that have not yet occurred.

They laugh at Jesus when he uses the term "sleeping," because they believe in literal translation. Is there some sort of message to us in how we should interpret, believe, in Jesus' sayings?

Psalm 38:1-22
As a Crohn's suffering, I think of this as my psalm.

Proverbs 10:8-9
Consider the times in your life when you have found the truth in these verses.

Prayer for Today: Lord, help us to see your work when it's right in front of us. Help us to believe in things we haven't yet seen for ourselves. Amen.

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