Imagine living in a land that once had been yours but now is under the control of a powerful overseer; imagine that your own political and religious leaders answer to this other force. This was life for the Jews in the time of Jesus.
They looked backwards to help them see forwards.
When Mark told of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem, he quoted from Psalms and from the prophets who had spoken to the people as they envisioned return from exile.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. (Zechariah 9:9)Mark's readers have known what came next: He will defeat the enemy and the prisoners will be set free (Read Zechariah 9:10-17).
We still are reading the Gospel of Mark. And we still are being held captive. For some Christians, the captors are actual human overseers. For others, they are powerful forces. As individuals, we may be worried about loss of health or loss of a specific loved one. Or, as a community, we have shared concerns.
And today, we can think of the economic strictures around the globe.
How much have we lost?
How much do we fear?
What will tomorrow bring?