Thursday 01 November 2012

Bible Book:

"If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me." (v. 34)

Mark 8:34 - 9:1 Thursday 1 November 2012


In our attempts to understand the ideaof God, we begin at a disadvantage. Our imaginations are limited byour experience. The only language available to us is the languagewe use to talk about friends, ambitions, anxiety, and mundane stufflike the patterns on wallpaper. We are inclined to picture God as'superhuman'. To be like God must be to have astounding powers:think, and it happens immediately.

Jesus gives us the best range ofoptions for talking about God, because he is the living image ofGod. In this passage of Mark's Gospel he reminds us rather sharplythat the goal of our discipleship is that we too become God'sliving image. It's a very tall order, because the example Jesussets before us is not one of astounding power; rather, it is animage of astonishing vulnerability,. We are invited to rethink ourimage of God, so that (in the words of a popular hymn) it includes meekness as well as majesty,in perfect harmony. We might quite fancy being like God in the'majesty' sense, but Jesus makes it clear that first, andcontinuing alongside the majesty idea, we must master and practisethe art of meekness. If we can get our heads around this remarkableidea of what God might be like, we can begin to address the problemof how to be human.

To Ponder

  • How do you play with God? Do words like reverence, awe and fearfill your mind? Or perhaps words like joy, fulfilment, fun? Whatdoes God want of you: to kneel, or to dance?
  • How do you approach your fellow humans? To what extent do youpray that you might see in them the image of God?
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