Mark 8:37

For what could a person give that is of equal value with their life?


the market value of life
continually under values
the value of the provisional

continually mistaking life
as a technique to achieve
a pre-supposed outcome
we are quick to exchange
one faded glory for another

smoke-filled mirrors
naming ourself most fair
substitute fame for substance


We know, firsthand, the power of economic systems. It is the backstory of nearly every other aspect of our life. When we are in sync, we are privileged and applauded for what we have done. This disguises the pervasive presence of the whole economy. When we are out of sync, we are trapped and blamed for the moral weakness of not succeeding. This excuses the false foundation of the whole economy.

These comments and questions about life bring us to what Myers103 calls the “mysterious calculus of Jesus’ nonviolence”. This puts us right in the middle of an on-going struggle in evolution—evaluating the amount of opening and closing sequential changes make.

James Russell Lowell’s poem places us at an ever-present crux of the matter:

Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each
the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

By what formula will we come out smelling like a rose when everything around us rots?

Is Nature “upward, still, and onward” or “red in tooth and claw”?

Where will you place your bet about consistency, what is truthful?

These questions continue to haunt, even during the noon-time of our life when, for a moment, all seems to have converged into a moment of pre-wilderness blessedness. Here, near the end of the first of two acts we have the questions that can be applied all the way through Mark’s tale and my life and yours: What is most valuable here and what will you change to partner with it? These are questions for Baptizer John, Herod, Pharisees, Disciples, Women at a Tomb, Jesus, G*D and Readers of Mark.

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