Mark 3:20

Jesus went into a house; and again a crowd collected, so that they were not even able to eat their food.


every house
carries a wilderness
under its slate
or roof of fronds
exorcism and blessing
a daily need

a nightly dream
lingers through the day
a tired response
forgotten thank you
a guest or party
extends

in some room
another encounter
with too much or
not the right enough
scarcity can be dealt with
but o that abundance

one healing
or seventy
sets a center
disrupting stasis
circling outward
to an emperor


We have quickly changed locale from lake to mountain to a house. Surrounded by a great cloud of need, the gathering of an inner-circle comes back down the mountain to find the never-ending work as present as ever.

When a crowd “again” (palin) gathers it gives opportunity to reflect on what has happened every other time a crowd gathered around Jesus and those who responded to his call to follow.

Not only is there no rest for the weary, the wearying task is ever the more wearying with a lack of time to breathe quietly or eat leisurely or converse convivially. There is only a proto-Protestant Work Ethic to attend to.

There is a sense in which we are in a Groundhog Day cycle of repeating the same old pattern.

“House” and “Crowd” can act as a relief for each other. A house is simply not zoned for business. The scale of intent and lack of resource is too large to overcome. A house is a suitable setting for hospitality and clarifying relationship, though there is nothing automatic about a setting and a result.

Though the energy seems to be with the crowd, the arc of Mark’s announcement continues on with questions about house and home. The crowd will become a witness, not an initiator of action.

Some leadership issues have been dealt with on the mountain—who is the Rock and who the Betrayer. We are about to further clarify family/communal relations in a house—what breaks us apart and where is our solidarity located.

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