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A Day of Controversy & Parables | Mark 11:27-13:37
That Tuesday was a day of verbal sparring in the public square of the Temple between Jesus and the religious leaders. Much of it had to do with history, tradition, and community. This past year has been a similar time of controversy as we wrestled with reframing and understanding our history, tradition, and sense of community in the context of our changing world, nation, and society.
Jesus’ teaching of the greatest commandment summarize the many teachings and parables that Jesus gives this day. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul. And love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus recognizes the connection between God and our fellow humans, how we treat and speak to our neighbor and how we treat and speak to God. The fear, reckoning, politicking and solidarity of this past year has brought out the best and worst of us. Many of us our struggling with what we’ve begun to see more clearly in this past year: ie. systemic racism & poverty.
How have you become more aware, or alert, of about yourself and your connections and associations….with your family, the church congregation, our city? What have you learned about how you love your neighbor? How is it easy to love? Who is it easy to love? Who for you is harder to love? Are there certain things or particular words that are hard for you to do in order to actively love your neighbor?
The religious leaders seem to be more afraid of Jesus’ authenticity, of losing their position, than against his thoughts. What might you need to let go of in order to more robustly love your neighbor? Maybe it’s a conviction that you’re right, or a fear of the unknown, or an old wound in your own life? Talk to God about you want to keep alert, looking to God for direction.