Sunday, September 30, 2012

Cut Off My What?

The disciples came to Jesus: "There's someone we don't know, doing things we don't understand. He's casting out demons and saying your name, but we don't recognize him so we're suspicious -- we think he shouldn't be trusted." Jesus said, "Don't stop him, just because he's going about his work differently. He's not your competition or your enemy. The cup of water that he shares is just as valuable as the cup of water you share.

"In fact," Jesus said, "let me go a step further. Not only should you not interfere with his work of healing, but do not be a detriment to his well-being at all. I'm holding you responsible for recognizing that his life, too, is sacred. If you cannot recognize God's life within this man, it will be as if you are choosing to drown your own life.

"If your hand cannot extend in welcome to a stranger, it would be better for you to lose your hand than to miss encountering God in that stranger. If your foot refuses to cross a border or to walk on the other side of the tracks, it would be better for you to cut off your foot than to let your spirit be corrupted by your foot's inability to recognize God's presence in foreign and unfamiliar territories.

"Likewise if your eye cannot see God -- living and breathing and dying -- on the other side of a mask or hijab or uniform; and if your tongue cannot consider greeting God in the life of the other; it would be better to lose your eye or cut out your tongue than to live in the hell of the heart that has not learned to meet God in all of life.

"What good is salt that has lost its saltiness? What good is life and community if not to experience God?"

Mark 9:38-50

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