Bringing the Text to Life

A Womb With a View Mark 8:31-38

Lent often employs a "journey" motif, sending Jesus'' disciples towards Jerusalem and Golgotha. This week''s theme reminds us that if we faithfully intend to follow Christ, we must be willing to step outside the door. We must be willing to leave our safe sanctuaries, our "wombs with a view" and risk entering the world naked and vulnerable, clad only in our faith.



Mark portrays Jesus spending a good deal of his time and energy on the trip to Jerusalem preparing his disciples for what lay ahead. But each of the three incidents of the "passion narratives" are met with outright denial (8:32), frightened silence (9:32), or complete obtuseness (10:35). The disciples never seem to grasp the meaning of Jesus' message. They continue to misunderstand his role as the Christ. They fail to comprehend what discipleship will come to mean, will come to cost.

Not unlike many of us, the disciples were stuck in a "fetal faith" position, resting in the warmth and weightlessness of a protective womb. But unlike the physical womb, which is a place designed for growth, faith that remains in utero enjoys a no-growth/no-risk dependency. Fetal faith feeds off of borrowed life and spirit, deriving all its nourishment second-hand from the lives of parents, pastors, mentors, friends, or spouses. But a safe and protected fetal faith which refuses to mature towards birth ...



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