Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mostly dead or all dead?

When somebody tells you that your church is already dead, remember Miracle Max.

Here is a scene from "The Princess Bride" a film written by William Goldman:

Inigo:  ... He’s already dead.

Max:  Look who knows so much. Well, it just so happens that your friend here is only mostly dead. There's a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. ....

Now, mostly dead is slightly alive.  Now, all dead...well, with all dead, there's usually only one thing that you can do....

Hey! Hello in there. Hey! What's so important? What you got here that's worth living for?

Westley: ... tr ... oooo .... luv ...

Max:  Sonny, true love is the greatest thing in the world.... But that's not what he said. He distinctly said "to blave." And, as we all know, "to blave" means "to bluff."

Valerie:  Liar! ...

And Valerie and Max go to work. Wesley is revived...

So if somebody tells your church that they are already dead, they have a question to answer. Do you want to live for true love – or are you bluffing?

If you are only talking about your own survival then you are already dead.

What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asks. The encounter has been routine up to that point. A man sitting by the side of the road, set up to be a beggar, calling out –

But what is he calling out? And is he serious? He calls for mercy from the Son of David. That means Messiah. That means King. That means he is calling for the king’s touch.

That means Herod isn’t king – and Caesar does not rule. Treason! Sedition!

If you call on the Son of David to have mercy you had better be sure you have the right man – and even then…

The crowd tries to hush it up. But he cries even louder. And Jesus responds, bring him here...

The game plan is out in the open now. 

If all you are about is your own survival then you are not yet fully alive.

That is why Jesus is called “fully human” – he fully embraces the human condition, including death – and resurrection.

The Messiah is on the way to Jerusalem, to the Passover festival.

[Jesus is the One who was promised. Will he be a king the way we expect him to be?]

And he is inviting us to come along. But, fair warning! 

Things will not be as they were.  If you set out on this journey, you will not be the same.

Everything will be different. That is why he came: to bring us out of old life into new.

That means leaving the old behind, giving up old habits, behaviors, and attitudes, even discarding the covering that protects us and gave us livelihood. It means leaving a way of life behind.

And that means being ready to be free. Getting ready to begin an adventure – to follow Jesus, as Bartimaeus and the other disciples followed Jesus, uphill on the way to Jerusalem – to the Cross – and then, only then, on to glory.

October 28, 2012
Twenty Second Sunday after Pentecost
Proper 25, Jeremiah 31:7-9, Psalm 126 , Hebrews 7:23-28, Mark 10:46-52 accessed October 27, 2012.  accessed October 27, 2012. accessed October 27, 2012.

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