Thursday, October 11, 2012

Whether or not


Saw Marty on the street after church yesterday. I’m walking by and he says, Reverend, how long did you preach today?
About twenty minutes, I say. 
And he says, Same as my father. He’d get so worked up, so excited, he would sweat so much, he carried five handkerchiefs with him. You ever see what cowboys do with handkerchiefs, pull them up over their face? 
Like outlaws, I say.
My father wasn’t an outlaw, he says.
I smile and start to walk away.
Say,I got one for you. About the weather.
Weather whether or not...and he laughs. 
Good one Marty, see you later...

                * * * *

A full day of shooting ahead.  Deacon James comes in, wearing his Korean War veterans hat. The death of his estranged wife is filling his life right now. Details of burial. Money. And of course, the missing daughter. His interview is up next.

Teddy comes in to review all that’s ahead today. He’ll also be supervising Solomon in his community service work from St. Agnes. And Teddy’s interview is up after  Deacon James.

Zeljko’s glad he had Sunday off from shooting. Gave him the chance to review his first two days of shooting. Think through where he wants to go in the next interviews. 

Glen and Steve come in and we meet to lay out the week’s work related to our advance screening of Zeljko’s movie. Lots of bases to cover. 

I look in the chapel and see that Zeljko is interviewing Luisa.

Bible study tonight. Back to Mark 9. Jesus foretells his death again. With the juridical language of ...and will turned over in custody of...., the literal meaning translated as betrayed. Closer to Ronald Reagan and the House Unamerican Activities Committee than a spouse who sleeps with someone else. And will be killed, if there was any question.

And how do the disciples respond? By arguing who will be the greatest. They so completely don’t get it. Or as Luisa suggests, they care for Jesus so much, they simply can’t think of losing him. Or they can’t give up the dream of overthrowing Rome. The reference to children again  frames everything.

They meet an exorcist casting out demons in Jesus’ name. Unauthorized. Like the unauthorized prophets who upset Joshua. When he asked Moses to stop them, Moses replied, Would that all God’s people were prophets. Likewise, Jesus says, whoever is not against us is with us. In our struggle, we gladly work with anyone working towards the same end, whether they are in our group or not. It’s about inclusion versus exclusion. And of course their jealousy since they so recently had been so unable to heal anyone. (9:14)

And we get to revisit the amputation passage...(Mark 9: 42-50). My new insight is that this is about not just our personal failings, but those things that break solidarity in a community. Hands sign defrauding contracts, feet run away, eyes envy, etc...In addition to loosening old capital punishment laws, he’s more saying whatever stand in your way, keeps you from being from being who you are supposed to be, cut it out... The reference to hell is actually Gehenna, the ever burning trash heap outside of Jerusalem. 

And then the mysterious reference to salt and fire,which I now have discovered was a way of cauterizing amputations, actually a reference to the possibility of healing. He’s not just speaking hyperbolically, he’s describing a process of healing within a community.

Bottom line? Good things can come from outside. And evil from inside. 

Whether or not. 

(Bible Study insights again from Ched Meyer’s Binding the Strong Man.)

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