|Pen and Ink Reflections||
Every single one of us sees the world differently. That is on the one hand self evident, but on the other something we don't often think about. I suspect that most of the time I am assuming that you are seeing what I am seeing. But it is just not the case. Each of us, because of our unique physiology, psychology, upbringing, experience, context, actually sees things differently. And of course because of all those things there are also things that we simply do not see. So when the Pharisees say to Jesus 'Surely we're not blind are we?', they are failing to acknowledge a basic spiritual truth. We are all blind to some extent...
So when it comes to God, to ministry, to mission, how much is too much? This is a question posed by our Gospel reading today, and perhaps in the back of our minds as we embark on our stewardship campaign this week.
We are only into the third chapter of Mark's gospel. Jesus Ministry and mission has barely begun- and yet already from the religious authorities and his own close family the cry is going up 'too much, too much, he's got a demon, he's gone mad, we've got to restrain him'. What has provoked this extreme response? Essentially Jesus has declared that the sabbath is made for human beings and not human beings for the sabbath, and dared to heal on the sabbath day. Promptly the religious authorities sensing a threat to their power base, have set out to destroy him. Moreover they have persuaded his family to take action – probably by threatening them with expulsion from the Jewish community unless they do so. The common people however love him - he is proclaiming a faith that works for them; a faith that is not bound by rules and traditions, but open to the generous movement of the Spirit. So the crowd are pressing in on him so badly that he has had to take to a boat for fear of being crushed, and is finding it hard even to eat. In these circumstances it would have been fair enough for Jesus himself to have declared' this is too much', but He does not do so...
sermons and reflections from Penny Jones & Jo Inkpin,