Second Sunday in Lent – B
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
Mark 8:31-38 or Mark 9:2-9
Last week the Spirit drove Jesus into the wilderness where he was tempted by Satan. Here, halfway through Mark's Gospel, Jesus again recognizes the presence of Satan in his own inner circle. In the wilderness or at home there is a temptation. Does the Spirit only lead to wilderness temptation without also leading to homeland temptation?
Most starkly put, the temptation is to be what you are not, to be ashamed of what you are not. We can put that off on G*D by claiming G*D is not what G*D ought to be. Again we are ashamed to be in the company of a G*D that doesn't get it.
It doesn't matter what the promise - of enough descendants to fill a starry, starry night, a heart that lives forever, being reckoned "in" by an alternative standard - there are those moments when we agree to get a descendant by any means, when we relinquish the responsibility of feeding the poor, or stumble over hope. Somewhere along the way we do not keep our eye on a prize and we are shamed or we shift that to shaming someone else.
Perhaps a key for us is the openness of Jesus' understanding of himself. It is this open affirmation that keeps shame at bay when it is being misused and turned into blame rather than reformation or transformation.
Sociopaths and saviors seem to not be ashamed. For the rest of us it is a marker that needs to be noted in order for us to join Jesus in living and speaking openly.
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