Wednesday, May 23, 2012

You have just answered your own question

Leila has come by just to see what’s going on. Marsha has come by to get information needed to complete an application. Sekou has come in early and wants to see me.  I’m still stressed out about my phone and have another appointment I have to run to. Teddy wants to brig me up to date on what’s going on with what and whom.
 I get back in  time for Bible study. The regular crowd. Plus Don has returned from China. Pedro from West End, along time activist has shown up for the first time. 
Before we get started, Anna wants to know if there are scientific explanations for Jesus’ healings. I tell her that when I was growing up in the sixties, that was a major area of exploration. But that its basically irrelevant because what we really want to know is what was the author  trying to tell us about  God, not did it really happen or how did it happen. 
Sekou’s homework was to bring in a news story. Hope has brought one from the arrests in Chicago. Charges of terrorism. We remember the murder of Fred Hampton and the Panthers in December 1969. (You can kill the revolutionary but you can’t kill the revolution.) Our young Occupiers need to know these stories. 
Tonight we’re looking at two stories, Jesus healing a leper and the healing of a paralytic. (Mark 1:40-2:12). We discover that with the leper, there is the issue of ritual purity, a confrontation round who cab declare someone clean. Jesus confronting the religious establishment on behalf of inclusion. And the in the case of the paralyzed man, issues of poverty are clearly present. His language has to do with debt forgiveness. (The implication being that his debts were paralyzing) A direct confrontation again with those who collect the debts. The charge of blasphemy is raised for the first time. The charge that would be raised by the hierarchy at the end. 
Marsha wants to know what it has to do with her. How to changes her life.  We come around to the call to free others from their paralyzing situations and ourselves from what paralyzes us. And it becomes clear that Mark was subverting the association of physical infirmity with spiritual sickness. 
We’re standing on the street after. Teddy wants to know how you keep responding when you no longer feel like it. I talk about the woman who showed up right before Hugo and Arcadia’s wedding. And my sense that Jesus never anticipates what’s going to face him next. That when the one with leprosy appears, his first reaction is oh, man....
As we’re talking, Bobby opens the door, asking for food. Teddy gently but firmly explains  that he is in a conversation but will shortly come in and help him find some sandwiches. Sekou and Hope look over to him and say, You have just answered your own question....
When Teddy goes inside with Bobby, Sekou reflects on all that is going on in his own life. This Bible study, man, it reminds me of who I’m supposed to be. And I think, Me too, my brother, me too. 

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