Still Not Shocked


Dorothy Sayers wrote: “It is curious that people who are filled with horrified indignation whenever a cat kills a sparrow can hear the story of the killing of God told Sunday after Sunday and not experience any shock at all.”

Sayers could have been writing about Jesus’ disciples James and John.  Jesus had told the Twelve, what would happen to him in Jerusalem, mocked, spit on, whipped and killed.  Then rise. (Mark 10:32-45)

“Well, ok then Jesus,” the thunder brothers said, “Since it will turn out alright in the end anyway, could we sit on your right and left hand in your glorious kingdom?”  When the other ten heard about the brothers brazen request, they were indignant.  Mark gives the impression that the other ten wanted a piece of action themselves.

In a watch- out what you pray for answer, Jesus speaks of baptism.  In a sense he always speaks of a sort of communion.  “Are you able to drink the cup that I drink?”  On both counts they say will be able.   But the baptism of which he speaks is not an immersion in water, but in suffering, blood and death.  The cup is the cup filled with God’s wrath against all the ways throughout our days humans stray from God’s ways.

Jesus was baptized into the vile dehumanizing hatred of humus humanity.   He drank the whole cup of God’s wrath against our wrong ways.  Therefore, our baptism is dying into his death and rising into his life.  Our communion a holy communion as we participate in his blood, not for death but for our life and eternal salvation.

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