Mark 12:8

So they seized him, and killed him, and threw his body outside the vineyard.


and so god was thrown out
of god’s own creation

the chicken of absence
laid an empty egg

from start to finish
respect lost to ownership

a partnership dissolved
before it was founded

desolation remains
desecration abounds


You really aren’t valued, even for fertilizer, when they throw your dead body away. No courtesy for any value you’ve added to the community or appreciation of nutrients for the soil and a next season of grapes.

Our beliefs and rituals to implement them can get very topsy-turvy. In thinking we are defending our faith we set the stage for its dismissal.

Case in point, at the Transfiguration Jesus is named as beloved. He interacts with Moses and Elijah. In a sense he is the living embodiment of them. These ancestral anchors of Judaism connects Jesus with the tradition of the Torah trying to remain alive in a setting of occupation and all the accommodation thought to be required in such a setting. How is it the chief priests cannot stand as firm in their own land as Daniel did in a foreign land?

Keeping the transfiguration scene in mind makes it difficult to see Jesus in opposition to traditional Judaism. Yet, here the religious leaders are the villains and the one thrown away is the hero. Here the “son” is connected with the servants and the supposed servants of religious leaders are but usurping tenants—not really connected with the landowner’s household as are servants and son.

The crowd is undoubtedly getting a big kick out of this story and can hardly wait for Jesus to loose a big kick of the religious leaders into the trash heap of Gehenna. The public always seems to get a vicarious thrill when leaders are threatened. These moments are usually short-lived as the leaders find a way to turn the tables, once again, and come out on top. They really will kill and throw away anything that gets in their way. And the public eventually colludes with them to justify their own continued entrapment by the conditions of the day.

Here it is the tenants who are alienated from their very own tradition and will try, by hook or crook, to continue their perceived right to inheritance or ownership of the tradition.

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