A daily devotion on the lessons from the revised common lectionary.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Pentecost 16b - Mark 8:27-38
Mark 8:27-38 If Jesus thought of his generation as adulterous and sinful
what would he say of ours? I know there are a number of well-meaning people of
faith who think we've gone to hell in a hand basket and fear it’s fixin’
to get worse. But since the rebellion in the garden there has never been a time
in human history when we have not been an adulterous and sinful generation.
That doesn't mean there are not degrees of separation when it comes to what was
meant to be and what is. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
(A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens) Peter publicly confesses the Christ;
“you are the Messiah” and then privately rebukes Jesus when Jesus defines what it
means to be Messiah in a way that does not conform to Peter’s preconceived notion.
Messiahs are not meant to undergo great suffering and be killed, even if they
promise to rise again. If Peter missed the Messiah boat before the resurrection
we are more likely to do so on the other side of the empty tomb and so cast Jesus in our own image of power and glory. No one is ashamed of a mighty Messiah coming in majesty to smash the enemies of God to pieces. But if we preach Christ crucified, the King of
Glory is never far removed from the place where the world was saved. “Father,
forgive them for they know not what they do.” It was God’s design that the
Messiah should be stripped naked and nailed to wood by religious authorities and Roman soldiers so that the
Jewish rabbi from the Gentile region of Galilee could change all our ideas
about power and prestige. Our problem is that we belong to an adulterous and
sinful generation that holds onto to this life with a death grip and denies everything
except ourselves believing we understand the divine mind when truth to be told we remain mired
in human thinking.