Murder and Intrigue

Scripture: Mark 6:14-29
February 6, 2015

So he ordered a guard to bring John’s head. Mark 6:27

Wow, what a colorful story.  I find myself thinking I am reading a Shakespearean tragedy or watching an episode of Game of Thrones when I read this passage.  There is intrigue and manipulation and a misuse of power all wrapped up in the story of John the Baptist’s end of ministry and life.

The story tells us about what happened back in the day when someone boldly challenged the current power structure.  It also gives us insight into how mentally messed up King Herod was.

The story grounds us in our current reality that we too often see played out in the evening news or on some detective crime story.  While only the gospel writer Mark offers this much detail, we know the story well.

We can relate to at least hearing something like this before and then struggling to get the image out of our head.  We can ask endless questions of “why” but it won’t erase the story or the memory.

The story isn’t meant to be read in isolation, just as the single events in our life don’t completely define who we are or give an accurate picture of our life experiences.   So read on, because we’ll find that the gospel grounds us in our world, where so often bad triumphs and good people loose.  But God will continue to rise up voices that will stand against what seems to be impossible systems and structures that work to oppress and take life.

Prayer:  God help me to see what structures I support through my spending or endorsement that actually work to keep systems of oppression alive and well.  Give me the courage to speak and act for Your good.  Amen.


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