Mark 8:35

For whoever wishes to save their life will lose it, and whoever, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, will lose their life will save it.


salvation presupposes evil
and its overcoming
one deus ex machina after another

lost to self in a larger G*D
is not a satisfactory process
regardless of how time-tested it is

whatever comes from a changed heart
participation in a present paradise
will simply be enough

easy judgments of lost and won
will fade in a partnering
beyond expected consequences


“Denial” is “a denial of one’s own presumed prerogatives or personal interests”, Bratcher 266.

This dives deeper than death, which comes to everyone. Here it gets very personal with expectations and power. No matter how small the hope or the privilege, we will do what we can to preserve our image. This stands behind the whole dynamic of colonial rule of dividing the local populace by having one portion police another. It accounts for the crassest discrimination coming from the next higher social strata to those being denied their whole humanity on the basis of one characteristic or another.

The reference to “good news” reminds us to check back with previous uses of that phrase. We are reminded in 1:1 that we are dealing with a process, not a static condition. In a sense we are always beginning to enter into a better tomorrow. This beginning spot is furthered in 1:15 when “good news” is not only about fulfillment, but present transformation or repentance in light of trusting such a vision.

This helps us listen to other language experiences with examples of denial from Bratcher266:
“to not worship oneself” (Mixtec),
“to not belong to oneself any longer” (Conob),
“to let go that which he wants to do himself” (Kiyaka),
“to not do what is passing through his mind” (Putu),
“to undo one’s own way of thinking” (Totonac),
“to leave himself at the side” (Huastec).

This, in turn, then brings us back to our larger self and to ask how we would translate this into the setting of our own life and the lives of our communal settings. Without updating our situation, it will take a third and fourth attempt by Life to bring us to attention.

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