September 23, 2018
Conventional wisdom is a term coined by the economist John Kenneth Galbraith. The phrase describes certain ideas or explanations generally accepted as true. So-called conventional wisdom may be either true or false. Conventional wisdom can be a barrier to new ideas and explanations. Meaning, despite new and different information, CW gets “set in concrete.”
This text from Mark’s Gospel is riddled with CW the Holy Spirit wants us to recognize as inauthentic. Today we hear the disciples ignore Jesus’ second prediction of his passion and death. Their new subject – which of us will sit in what high and mighty places – operated out of their CW. If Jesus is messiah, when he rules, they rule. They have created an opposing force, an alternative story, which ends differently than Jesus sees it.
We’ve been trained to see, hear, read and believe the Bible as a “how to” manual. That’s our CW: “The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.” In reality, the Bible is not a “how to” manual. The Bible is a “why for” manual.
At our 9:30 A.M., Sunday worship, in prayer, Word, song, sermon and Meal, we’ll experience Jesus’ embrace as another jolt to our CW. What Jesus is doing, by embracing a lowly child, is what God has been doing since God stooped to meet us in the mud. What Jesus is doing is the rest of God’s story, coming to us, staying with us, embracing us, suffering for us, even when we stray, fall into sin, miss the mark. Jesus is the servanthood of the God who chooses to be the servant of us all.