Daily Reflection

Daily Reflections 4th April 2020.

By Rev. Joe Daley

 

Read Mark 2; 23 -28;

 

Mark’s argument about Jesus comes to a climax in a wheat field. He asks us to imagine Jesus and his disciples followed by Pharisees who criticise them for making a way for Jesus and “pluck(ing) heads of grain”. Although the Pharisees suggest that this is not “lawful”, there is a precedent. This is not only in the ‘reply’ that Jesus gives to his critics; “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry….. (25), but also in Jewish commentary on scripture; “the sabbath is delivered unto you, and you are not delivered to the sabbath”. Whilst this is fascinating, Mark invites us to continue our reflections on the way that Jesus challenges regulations that exclude those who cannot keep the rules. Here we see Jesus as a reformer of Judaism, and, as all who would speak truth to power discover, he walks a lonely road. But to widen the thought consider how Jesus also challenges the rules we love but which often exclude those around us. It could be those who are not like ‘us’ in many ways, or those who follow another faith - Mark clearly regards the Pharisees’ version of Judaism as an obstacle to God’s real work. But today Judaism is properly respected and a ‘world conscience’ when it reminds us of the fate of those who are ‘different’. Wherever the ‘rules’ deny the parenthood of God, Jesus stands as a person in whom God’s loving purpose is revealed to everyone. This is acutely challenging but also totally affirming. Jesus is the Lord who ‘rules’ from ‘the ground up’; from a field, from the marketplace and even, as we approach the climax of Lent, from a place of execution.

 

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Prayer; Creator God, we give you thanks today for everyone around us. For those who share our faith and those who have chosen a different road to you. We confess that we have often clung to traditions and rules which exclude others. As Lent approaches Easter remind us that Jesus is Lord, and that he rules from a cross. Teach us to value humanity and this world as you do, and give us the courage to imitate you in our service to others. We ask that in this time of isolation we may find new ways to be present to others and to hear and value their stories. We ask this in the name of the one who calls us to love our neighbours as we love ourselves.

 

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Hymn; ‘The Lord of the Dance’; verses 1, 5 by Sydney Carter (Singing the Faith 247). This hymn is available widely.

 

“I danced in the morning

When the world was begun,

And I danced in the moon

And the stars and the sun;

And I came down from heaven

And I danced on the earth,

At Bethlehem I had my birth.

 

‘Dance then, wherever you may be,

I am the Lord of the Dance’ said he,

‘and I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,

And I’ll lead you all in the Dance,’ said he.

 

They cut me down

And I leapt up high;

I am the life

That’ll never, never die;

I’ll live in you

If you live in me;

I am the Lord of the Dance’ said he.

 

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bf93gp-HafA     (Full Hymn)

 

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Nigel Creighton,
Apr 3, 2020, 5:22 PM
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