Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Mark 8:27-38

Pentecost +16 - Year B

Mark 8:27-38

Can you believe it, Jesus was mugged. Since Judas was keeping the money all they got was Jesus' identity information. Without that what is a person to do in a culture so attuned to place of position.

No wonder Jesus asked, "Where does the culture place me?" and "What do you know of me?"

Peter, of course, pipes up with Messiah talk which an excellent excuse for another mugging, this time by the religious authorities and the state (a noxious mix). And, of course, Jesus says, "Whoa, there big feller!"

This then becomes time to move a bit deeper in, from culture to family/friends to self. Who do I say that I am.

I'm one who gets mugged. Individuals come and go at will through my expression of experience with all of creation. Some come to deny, some to adore. Some stay for awhile and some last more than a life-time. Everyone claims a bit of my identity until there is nothing left.

Peter, still thinking Messiah instead of Jesus having undergone a great suffering - a loss of identity - tells Jesus to get over himself and get back on the track of miracles and crowds and power.

"No", says Jesus, who is beginning to remember his baptism and all that it means to be beloved of creation even while used by everyone else's fantasies.

As you wrestle with your identity - any loss that comes your way - there is a question of where your balancing point is. Is it in victim or beloved? This is not to say a Venn diagram can't be used for overlaps with these perspectives, but which has the more persistent boundary? Pentecost pushes back into life with a new identity beyond lost. Blessings on the next part of your journey.

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