Mark 10:17

As Jesus was resuming his journey, a man came running up to him, and threw himself on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to gain eternal life?”

hey you
yeah you
hold on
got a question

what’s the rule
guaranteed ’til then
about landing better
prospects than now

folks say you’ve got
good insight for today
and a better tomorrow
so what gives huh

I’ve got a five
says it’s nothing
what you say
so show me

now’s good
for me
how’s it
by you

Jesus has encountered his disciples essentially claiming, “For now the presence of children is incompatible with following Jesus”. For whatever reason they used in the moment, Jesus countered that with a welcome and a blessing before continuing on his way.

Before continuing on our way, the church has continually used this same formula of incompatibility regarding art, science, women, people of color, the poor, the colonized, and LGBTQ+ people, and other marginalized groups. An example of this is the current claim of United Methodists sending of children away—“the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching”.

It is in this context, some restricting others from the limited viewpoint of claiming their greatness, that we hear of a person hurrying toward Jesus to ask a question about a holistic way of life. This is a question the disciples and the church seem to always answer for themselves from a viewpoint that requires a scapegoat for its own sense of purity.

It is as if this never-ending constriction is sufficient without reflection, much less practice of what has been indicated as a next step. In this way the accusation of hypocrisy is an ever-present reality for disciples in each age.

A legal approach to the experience of life sets the stage for an aborted healing. The premise of finding a guarantee of a future state through a present action is faulty. Though we are getting better with weather predictions, there is no reliable way of modifying it to get a season of “perfect” days (other than on the macro-scale of climate change and this seems to be heading in a negative direction in regard to our short-term adaptability).

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