“Have you never read this passage of scripture? – ‘The stone which the builders despised has now itself become the corner-stone;
surprise it’s opposite day
the one ejected
returns to save the day
in turn the rejecters
become the glue
to heal inequity
what a mysterious end
just when we thought kill
a new way rises builds
And we come now to the reason given for the killing of the tenants who have killed servants and son of an absent landowner. It is a scriptural reference to Psalm 118.
As always, it is helpful to remember this parable is being remembered after the destruction of the temple and the attempts at rebuilding which end in finding a new way of synagogues without a stable temple. This story needs to speak to Mark’s first readers, not just to Readers so many generations later. [As a side note there are suggestions that the Coliseum in Rome was built from the spoils taken from the Jerusalem Temple—killing and capital punishment as entertainment continues.]
…the foundation-stone of Isaiah xxviii. 16, which Peter identifies with the rejected stone of Psalm cxviii and the stone of stumbling of Isaiah viii. 14 (see I Pet. ii. 6 ff.), an identification which was probably traditional, since it seems to be known to Paul (see Rom. ix. 33).
Carrington goes on to note that the imagery of doves, fish, seed, mountains, fig trees, vineyards, stones, etc. cannot be forced into Western systematic theology but needs to be “accepted and enjoyed as it is in its own idiom” and cannot be de-mythologized.
Given the way we continue to sidestep common good as practiced in partnership with one another, we may need to consider what it will take for us to re-mythologize the stories, such as Mark’s, which have come down to us in such a solid way as being “scripture”, unchangeable and eternal.
Without re-mythologization this killing and stone that alternating forces stumble over in their fatalistic ebb and flow of competitive power will continue elevating difference into destruction.
The stone in Psalm 118 is recognized through thanks that a gate has been opened where once there was only stuckness and desert. Can there be an Exodus image without the killing of Caananites?