Bringing the Text to Life

Be Happy! Mark 10:46-52

"To be happy in Jesus" means to trust and obey. Simple words, but hard to live out in our world of headline catastrophes. Economists, environmentalists, educators, all give us good reason to be filled with pessimism, doubt, despair - or to become fatalistically apathetic. Sometimes we just have to get a grip and re-center our attitude on something as straightforward and basic as that old hymn, "Trust and Obey."

There is an old Jewish joke about a child who hates kreplach dumplings. His mother tries to reassure him and one evening brings him into the kitchen, standing him next to her as she prepares dinner. "Look," she says, "here's the dough. First you flatten it and shape it." The boy nods happily. "Then you take the filling and lay it across the dough. " The boy nods once more, happy as can be. "Finally, you fold the dough over the filling and you have ... "Kreplach!" The boy screams and runs sobbing from the room.

In many ways, when it comes to the word "obedience" and the theme of "trust and obey," we are in the same position as the boy in the story. Each step of the Christian faith suits us fine. We applaud faith. We rejoice when there is talk of love and hope. But then we see what all this has been leading up to; and, like the boy who hated kreplach, we scream, "Oh, no, obedience. "

Our texts this week are dealing with the essence of what it means to live in the Spirit. There are so...

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