The Call to Discipleship in The Gospel of Mark, Day 17
This section of the story is being told to re-confirm and regroup the new movement. With Jesus' confrontations with the religious groups and their plotting with the secular authorities to overthrow him, Jesus is reconfirming his mission and ministry. Mark is evoking a comparison to Moses and the creation of a new priesthood. Ched Myers argues the appointment of the 12 disciples is to set up a direct counter movement to the current government. These apostles will carry on the mission when the bridegroom is gone. This inner circle will learn and acquire the skills for the kingdom to keep expanding and growing.
13 He went up the mountain and called to him those whom he wanted, and they came to him. 14And he appointed twelve, whom he also named apostles, to be with him, and to be sent out to proclaim the message,15and to have authority to cast out demons. 16So he appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); 17James son of Zebedee and John the brother of James (to whom he gave the name Boanerges, that is, Sons of Thunder); 18and Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Cananaean, 19and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Mark 3:13-19a
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This raises interesting questions for us about what we as the religious, church folk are to be. Are we to be the pillars of society, upholding the current order or are we to be set apart, a challenge to the norms and practices of society? I know I personally have been accused of being too political when speaking about racism, a broken criminal justice system, cuts to poverty programs or just for calling to feed, clothe and bring water to those with out, to care for the environment. I've been told we don't want any of that political stuff here in church. Take last Sunday for example What Happened to my Sweet Little Boy? Where someone said to me, I thought the congregation would explode when you mentioned Rachel Maddow. And yet one reading of this passage is the creation of a revolutionary movement, a movement that challenges the powers that be. Are we willing to claim a place in this culture that says these are the issue important to us, the issues Jesus fought for in the Gospel stories? Are we going to work and fight for God's Kingdom because the one who called us, forgave us, pushes us to act and struggle and challenge those places where the lost, the unclean, the unforgiven, the last are struggling to survive?
Sit quietly in silence. Ask God to guide your spirit and thoughts so that you can be a vessel for God's use. When you are more still, more peaceful, hold you hands palm up, in your lap. Ask God to place in your hands whatever or whomever you should pray for. Ask God to immerse you and those for whom you pray in God's love. The people and situations may shift allow you attention to turn to them and pray for them. Continue for as long as you sense the Spirit wants you to pray. Amen.
Talkin' About a Revolution by Tracy Chapman