But the good news must first be proclaimed to every nation.
in season and out
a wounded soul
like a larger
out of control or in
a smooth telling
paying attention or not
In a time when the present is chaotic and any future for next generations appears worse than dismal, it is difficult to believe any redemption, much less resurrection, is available. Myers175 looks clearly at typical responses then and now:
…Sadness, awe, rage, fear, and a feeling of overwhelming powerlessness are the constant companions of thinking people.
Because we so often find these negative feelings intolerable, we are constantly tempted to displace them with aggressive behavior toward an “enemy” who becomes the object of all our fear and rage. Or we turn our frustration inward in self-destructive behavior…. Or we respond to the complex and disturbing challenge of our world with panaceas, simplistic solutions that excuse us from deep or nuanced analysis. But the most dangerous temptation of all is not to look, to narrow our awareness, to enter into psychic numbness, to become passive and withdrawn.
The pervasive habit of our culture is to take refuge in denial, to hide from the world in the “business as usual” of our private lives. We close our eyes to avoid facing the reality around us by surrounding ourselves with the mind-deadening escapes of modern society. Yet the gospel calls us to look at reality and to acknowledge our feelings of sadness and despair that surface when we feel the pain of the world.
To gaze upon suffering, death, and rising in what might be the silence at the end of Mark’s tale, leads us back to the beginning of his story—Good News spoken before it is Good News, announced in advance of our constructed systems hitting bottom, dissolving in a universal solvent, and rising no more but awaiting a better seed.
In this warning chapter, we are not to be surprised at how quickly and pervasively life can fall apart. In the face of the realities of an all-too-real intention by powers to sow confusion, foster hate, and revel in death-dealing we are to “Watch”, to be clear about more suffering than simply our own, and to “Witness” through a proclamation of “Good News” and “Belovedness” as a background to all else.