Mark 8:16

They began talking to one another about their being short of bread;

we get taken to task
when we have bread
along with reluctance
to share

we get taken to task
when we have no bread
along with fantasy desires
to move up

there is no not taken to task
while we think we’re better
than flighty birds
whispering our Jesus password

hesitant sharing
reveled in progress
special privilege
avoided responsibility

so we chatter to one another
having repeated an Eden model
excusing our loss of partnership
mistaking bread for character

When the master speaks, no matter how cryptically or even wrongly, disciples presume there is something deeper in the speaking than they can catch on first hearing. So an after-hours discussion is held.

It is easy to remember the triangular discussion in Eden between Snake, Adam, and Eve. In the discussion, little errors creep in as the statement under discussion bobs and weaves through one memory system and then another until, like the party-game Telephone, we are talking about something else and making decisions on the basis of our discussion rather than its stimulus.

The focus becomes what the Twelve had forgotten (bread) rather than an affirmation of what is still present (bread). How like me. How about you?

If leaven is at issue as an organizing principle of that which puffs up (pride) and leads to spoilage (downfall), the discussion following this metaphor turns it into a mistaken literalism.

The warning given has been tamed, domesticated, turned into a simple fact (“fake news”, in one of today’s favorite memes). We no longer have to make use of our measure-of-meaning tools and can set them aside to have one more opportunity to remember how hungry we are and how all the world should circle around this reality. We shall not rest until we have “daily bread” dropped in our lap.

“Beware” becomes but a drone in the background which can be tuned out. We are so sure that “yeast” means “bread” and since we don’t have bread we don’t have to worry about being “leavened”.

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