Greetings…from the lockdown state of amnesia. We are doing it again, just in case we have forgotten what it is like. Further, for those who read the tea leaves tossed up by public life and public spokespeople, our first reading on Saturday February 13 was from Genesis 3: 9-24. It is a brilliant commentary on the ‘blame game’. Finally, in this somewhat uncharacteristic commentary, before we look at the readings for this shut -down Sunday, let alone Ash Wednesday, take comfort in the Old Testament reading for Sunday. We, too, have to shield our upper lip and to cry unclean at the borders, and to live apart outside the camp Commonwealth.
We presume it was deliberate. Sadly Mark is not here with us in the flesh to question, but is it not fascinating that he, the Leper begins life outside, is touchingly welcomed into full life and he, Jesus, finds himself “outside in places where nobody lived”.
Did he need a rest?
Did he need to escape?
Did he need some privacy?
Did he need to pray?
We could spend many moments pondering. Did Mark intend that? Was it a warning that sometimes great acts of kindness, healing or simply being attentive to others produces an effect like “Jesus could no longer go openly into any town”. All this and we have just finished Chapter One of Mark.
What an exciting beginning to this person Jesus!
At TEAMS this week we rediscovered the following prayer. You may find it useful and helpful.
May we who are merely inconvenienced, remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors, remember those most vulnerable
May we who have the luxury of working from home, remember those who must choose between their health and making the rent.
May we have flexibility to care for our children when the schools close, remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the turmoil of the economic market remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for quarantine at home remember those who have no home.
As fear grips our country, let us choose love during this time. When we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbour. Amen