Monday, February 08, 2016

Their Hearts Were Hardened

When the priests left the holy place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD so that the priests could no longer minister because of the cloud, since the LORD'S glory had filled the temple of the LORD. Then Solomon said, "The LORD intends to dwell in the dark cloud; I have truly built you a princely house, a dwelling where you may abide forever." 1 Kings 8:10-13

As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him. They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed. Mark 6:54-56


Let us enter God's dwelling; let us worship at God's footstool.

"Arise, LORD, come to your resting place, you and your majestic ark.
Your priests will be clothed with justice; your faithful will shout for joy."
For the sake of David your servant, do not reject your anointed. Psalm 132:7-10


Today our readings give us a study in contrasts.

In the first reading, the Jews settle into the new land and dedicate the temple. As part of that ceremony, they enshrine the Ark of the Covenant into the temple and the Lord “moves in” as the cloud fills the space of the temple. The Lord has a home where he will dwell and his people will recognize him.

However, Mark gives us another story of the disciples still not recognizing what is happening around them. After the miracle of the loaves, Jesus calmed the seas that were terrifying the disciples in the boat. Yet they still did not understand what was happening.

When they got to the other side of the sea, the people on the other side who had not been a part of the miracle of the loaves immediately recognized Jesus and turned to him for more signs and healing of the sick. Jesus still did not dwell in the hearts of those closest to him. Instead, he had a place among neighboring people, but not his own.

No longer are Jesus’ own people “settled.” He has come among them and challenged their rational lives and religious principles. So rather than settling in among them, Jesus becomes nomadic once again like his ancestors. He travels to nearby towns and villages on foot or by boat to spread his good news.


With human needs all around, have you recently reassessed your charitable giving.  With the Bishop’s Lenten Appeal, capital campaigns, telemarketing by charities, and more, now is the perfect time to figure out  what you can give to charity from your time and your treasure. 

Are you able to donate the average 2 percent to charities of your choice? Can you consider the kind of sacrifice needed to get your level of giving up to five or ten percent?

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