The Feast of Thorns

Long before our terrible story your birthday was already

the feast of Servites pruning winter roses. I cling to that now, all the other days this day could be:

Obstinate mountains lumber into obeisant seas

Lame men whole, blind men see

Dead men rise and shake off their shroudy bindings

impossible things all around ya

If only you will


Deja vu dining

Mark 8:1-4 (NIV)
During those days another large crowd gathered. Since they had nothing to eat, Jesus called his disciples to him and said, [2] “I have compassion for these people; they have already been with me three days and have nothing to eat. [3] If I send them home hungry, they will collapse on the way, because some of them have come a long distance.” [4] His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?”

Alright. Some questions.

Why wait 3 days to feed them?

Didn’t we already do this miracle? Wouldn’t you think the disciples would have rubbed their hands together in anticipation and said, ok, whose got some snacks? Jesus is gonna break some bread!!

People are sheep, and sheep have a short attention span. We are credulous about Ponzi schemes and time shares, but cagey when we come to miracles.

Back in chapter 6 when we experienced the first feast of shared bread, Mark commented that the disciples did not understand the feast or for that matter, the power of Jesus.

So is this second miracle a reminder? A way of raising the expectation of divine providence?

I don’t know. I don’t know why I don’t believe faster, worry less, ask for bigger things, or trumpet God’s power more vociferously.

Ok, I do know.

I have been pushed down and discouraged by the power of darkness. Everything we humans do is threaded with discord, lust, and greed. We stink.

And sometimes our stink can distract us from his fragrance. We miss the myrrh in the stable because the dung is too deep.

Which is why, I think, he lets them wait three days for the meal, the feast, the splendor.

We have to be hungry, desperate, broken, before we will submit to the celebration of God.

He has done everything well

Mark 7:36-37 (NIV)
Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. [37] People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.”

I don’t expect people to believe in Jesus. It is a crazy story. I know that. But the people who knew Jesus up close, first century, in the flesh, told the story with no hint of irony.

We know they believed in Jesus because they died for his crazy story.

So take this story for what it is–the guy does an impossible thing and then says, don’t mention it.

But they can’t help themselves. He does all things well. They express their amazement at his power, his miracles.

I express mine as well–

His sovereign power demands my awe. His sacrifice of love changes my story.


Gifts and Siblings

Mark 6:1-3 (NIV)
Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. [2] When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. “Where did this man get these things?” they asked. “What’s this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! [3] Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Lance Armstrong got $200,000 for speaking gigs. Jesus spoke for free.

And he backed up his wisdom with miracles, his miracles with suffering, his life for ours.

But all we see is his poverty and his ordinary family?

Or do we see more? Are we listening to the still small voice of God in the world? Or is it still the flash of the imposter that holds our gaze?