Bringing the Text to Life
In Mark 12:37, the text right before the gospel reading for today, we find a telling comment. Jesus has been engaged in some heated debates with the temple authorities. He has consistently bested them at their own arguments and trounced on their self-importance. Now, just before his final denunciation of the prideful, shallow-faithed scribe, Mark notes that "the large crowd was listening to him with delight."
It's still true, isn't it? We love to see the high and mighty get their comeuppance. Isn't this why we so smugly cheer against the scribes when Jesus lays them out in this text? Undoubtedly for most of us, the scribes' undoing and our salvation lie in their love for praying long, flowery, ostentatious prayers in public for appearance's sake. After all, how many of us can admit that offering too many long prayers in public is one of our faults? (And of course the preacher's pastoral prayers don't count!)
Where do Christians have their most powerful prayer experiences? You might ...