Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pentecost 24b - Mark 12:38-44

Mark 12:38-44

As one who walks around in a long robe once a week and sits up front in the sanctuary and at the head table and is often greeted in public with a nod and a “Morning, Father” I must admit there is some truth to Jesus description of “pastored up” pride. The designation (in some Lutheran circles) of “Herr Pastor” did not come about without cause. That being said there is also a great sense of humility that comes from being “a steward of the mysteries of God” and bearing the burdens of God’s people “not because you must but because you are willing” (ordination vows) because no one takes those vows without repeating the refrain “…and I ask God to help me”. The only help (and hope) of the poor widow comes from God as she is neglected by the institution that requires her copper coins (the temple tax) even though support for widows and orphans and the poor and "the sojourner in your midst" was required of the institution as a reminder that “once you were slaves in the land of Egypt”. Maybe the greater condemnation received by the outwardly pious and proud is that when the doors of the banquet of the future are closed to them the widow at the head table will ask Jesus to let them sit next to her. And maybe Jesus will ask, “are you sure?” And she’ll say, “Yes, and I ask God to help me.” 

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely beautiful. It took me aback, and the image at the table became so vivid I could see it clearly. The widow could see clearly. I pray for clarity for all of us this Sunday when we hear this Gospel passage and remember, yes, remember the women and men who have served us at the table, the generations at the military table of freedom. Christian Brocato, Rector, St. Peter's Episcopal Church, Cambridge, MA