by Bob Wickizer

The Inevitability of Discord
Bob Wickizer
1 Samuel 8:4-20, 11:14-15; Psalm 138; 2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1; Mark 3:20-35

''And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand (and Jesus went on to ask)… Who are my mother and my brothers?'' Here we are in the middle of graduations, celebrations and family reunions. Times of great joy and family get-togethers. Have you ever attended an extended family reunion where you went with a mixture of feelings? Perhaps you looked forward to seeing some of your favorite, special cousins again and these positive feelings were mixed with a little anxiety and dread about seeing a relative with whom you have had serious conflict. Time of joy and celebration can often be mixed with tension and discord or as the general confession says, ''Things done and things left undone.''

People often look at the Bible and romanticize it. The Garden of Eden is viewed in our mind's eye like a scene from ''The Wizard of Oz'' in full Technicolor. Dorothy is there to take an apple at the serpent's bidding. You can fill in the rest of that scene. Who hasn't seen Charlton Heston as Moses in the Ten Commandments? I'm sure we all think of the disciples' three years with Jesus as something in between an extended Boy Scout adventure and a popular televangelist's healing campaign. We even tend to convert the cross and crucifixion into shades of Pollyanna. That's why Mel Gibson's brutally realistic treatment was so shocking to everyone.

Mark's Gospel tells us that when Jesus called them, most of the disciples immediately left what they were doing and followed him. That may or may not be accurate, but that commonality obscures some simple facts about human nature. Each one of those followers left what they were doing for different reasons. They had different motivations, different understandings of Jesus' teachings, different commitments, different ideas about who they were and what they were supposed to be doing. No matter h ...

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