My youngest child hasn’t missed a church choir rehearsal in five years. But when the ten-year-old went too rehearsal one day recently, she was one of only two people to show up. It was a hard evening for the interim music director—it’s hard to be a resilient leader when your numbers are dwindling.
The television show Parenthood begins each episode with a snippet of a Dylan melody and the lyrics, “May God bless and keep you. . . . May you always do for others, and let others do for you.” Blessings are like blankets of covering and shields of hope.
In this week’s Gospel lesson, Jesus says to the people,
Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No... Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them—do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem? No.
Although Jesus is called teacher in the Gospel of Mark, that Gospel includes little of the teachings of Jesus. His parables confound his listeners rather than leading to greater understanding. Jesus’ teaching in Mark is performative, says Brian Blount; Jesus taught by the way he lived. He doesn’t teach love as a concept, he acts it out by touching lepers and allowing diseased people to touch him, engaging women as equals, associating with the marginalized, and breaking laws that don’t promote human well-being. If we want to teach the reign of God as Jesus taught it, then we need to craft a curriculum that does more than inform (Interpretation, April).