Bringing the Text to Life

Success Symbols Mark 8:27-38

The vertical beam of that cross on which Jesus was lifted becomes the plumb line of the ages, the pole position which judges all our actions and transforms all our values.

A recent cartoon shows a man worshipfully kneeling at an altar. But instead of the expected symbol, perched on top of this altar is a huge replica of a #1 lottery ball. The man is soulfully closing a just-uttered prayer with the words, "For thine is the kingdom, the powerball, and the glory forever. Amen."

Our culture's growing addiction to gambling is one clear indication of this new and alarming commitment to "success-by-chance." All across America small towns and big cities left with big holes in their local economies are embracing gambling casinos and lottery games as their tickets to salvation.

State-run lottery games are used to fund public education -- for we would rather buy a lottery ticket than approve local school budgets.

A few years ago the little corner grocery was given a death sentence by the massive, national-chain discount stores. But thanks to the lottery boom "Mom and Pop" convenience stores are back in the black again. They aren't selling many gallons of milk ...

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