Mark 6:36

Send the people away, so that they may go to the farms and villages around and buy themselves something to eat.”


an unspoken pop quiz
arises within many hungered dreams
succulent fish in a desert
significant quiet amid a crowd

what were we learning
before starting to count
ceiling tiles and slow seconds
until lunchtime recess

oh yes announcing
that over the rainbow is
and is revealed presently
through people’s lives

were the quiz true false
we would have aced it
but the lab tripped us up
too many people too close

the very ones fished for
we dismissed as weeds
fouling our nets
we need less needy targets

fortunately one quiz
does not a course make
right after our break
we’ll double down on study


As the Twelve weary, going over the basic teachings for the umpteenth time, they remember the rule about shaking the dust off their feet.

Obviously the crowd was not being hospitable toward the Twelve. The hoi polloi had their demands that would not notice the needs of the Twelve. If the crowd couldn’t live up to a modicum of politeness, something will have to be done.

That something is shaking dust, the opposite of sharing resources, hospitality.

The Twelve repeat themselves: “After all, they have needs that go beyond what we see as our resources. It is only being kind and loving to dismiss them with a blessing so they can get to the market before it closes and provide for themselves.”

This is pretty reasonable stuff until we attend to a particular word in the Greek that stands behind the phrase, “send them away”. The imperative word ἀπολύω (apoluō) is used in the Christian scriptures for “divorce”. Of course the Twelve would deny this and claim its softer meaning of a release, temporary, simply so the crowd had time to eat and return another day.

Imagine a Mark with emoticons to help us read tone.

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