Bringing the Text to Life

The Sacrament of Failure Mark 6:1-13

Christians can learn to forgive themselves and others, and not be afraid to lead "error embracing" lives.


Some projects we undertake start out clean, but quickly gather a layer of dust to themselves. Any one working with wood knows the longer it is smoothed and sanded and sculpted, the deeper the pile of shavings and sawdust grows underfoot and on the project's own surface. Only when it is all finished can we wipe and shake all the dust away, leaving a clean surface.

We have to know when it is time to blow the dust off, roll up our sleeves and start working; and when it is time to shake the dust off, redirect our energies and go on our way.

Jesus' commissioning words and directions at the beginning of the disciple's missionary activities reveal that he too knew there was a time to get down to work and time to get out and get on. At the same time, Jesus gives his disciples participatory power in his own authority; alongside his confident directions to "travel lightly," Jesus gives his disciples guidance on how to deal with failure.

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