Mission and Belonging

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.

It is a great passage, a great image, but… I suspect when we hear that word “yoked” a particular image comes to mind. We imagine two or more beasts of burden, a huge twin harness joining them, while they pull the heavily weighted wagon, till the fields, and perform all manner of really hard work. Yet there is some comfort in the idea that the work is shared, the harness adjusted to fit, and together with a kind of family – all geared towards a common mission and purpose. Continue reading

The Kingdom’s cost

ChineseJesus-rich-manThis coming Sunday is the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time in Cycle B of the Lectionary. It is a familiar story: “As [Jesus] was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17). Matthew refers to him as “a rich young man.”

In this part of Mark’s account, Jesus has been consistently teaching his disciples the meaning of the Kingdom in his examples and explanations: greatness means to serve the least among the people (9:36-37).  He has already told them that the path of discipleship will consist, not just of demonstrations of power (healing and casting out demons), but also one in which one “must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me.” (8:34) At times these lessons have come at the end of a dispute with the Pharisees or scribes as we saw in the previous Sunday gospel. There Jesus tells the disciples about the creative intent of God in the formation of marriage and family (10:2-16) as a means of describing the Kingdom echoed in human experience. Continue reading