Wisdom 2:12,17-20; Psalms 54:3-4,5,6-8; James 3:16-4:3; Mark 9:30-37
Although rain had been predicted, a Shakespearean company was giving a performance of “Romeo and Juliet” in an outdoor summer theater. In the middle of the first act it began to rain. But that didn’t discourage the audience of veteran theatergoers. They had brought with them green, plastic garbage bags with two peep-holes cut into them. They pulled the bags over their heads and continued to watch the play. Following the performance, one of the actors said, “It was like playing to five hundred wet zucchini.”
Hearing Jesus’ choice of words in today’s lesson about the first being last, and the last first, we may safely assume that trying to get His message through was like speaking to a bunch wet zucchinis. And that remains true even in our time — perhaps especially in our time.
Jesus never minced words. Jesus never spoke into the air. He spoke to real people — men and women with real feelings, real ambitions, real hopes and dreams,…