Sunday, our rector decided to read a large chunk of Mark 8 as part of his sermon, and I was struck by a couple of different things.
Here is the passage:
Now the disciples had forgotten to bring any bread; and they had only one loaf with them in the boat. And he cautioned them, saying, ‘Watch out—beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and the yeast of Herod.’ They said to one another, ‘It is because we have no bread.’ And becoming aware of it, Jesus said to them, ‘Why are you talking about having no bread? Do you still not perceive or understand? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes, and fail to see? Do you have ears, and fail to hear? And do you not remember? When I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?’ They said to him, ‘Twelve.’ ‘And the seven for the four thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces did you collect?’ And they said to him, ‘Seven.’ Then he said to them, ‘Do you not yet understand?’
They came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to him and begged him to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village; and when he had put saliva on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, ‘Can you see anything?’ And the man looked up and said, ‘I can see people, but they look like trees, walking.’ Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.
First, I noticed the interesting juxtaposition of the disciples' spiritual blindness and the physical blindness of the man Jesus healed. I felt God reminding me of how hard he works to bring us to an understanding of his will. Even if we don't understand or see his purpose clearly, he keeps trying to convey his vision to us.
Second, I thought about how blind the disciples' were to the significance of the feeding of the 4,000. I've been flogging myself to work extra jobs and extra hours to provide for us, . . . when I serve a God who can make abundance out of crumbs. I took this as a reminder that if I pursue God's vocation for me, he will provide. (I don't take that to mean I'll become rich. I'm not preaching prosperity gospel here.)
Anyway, this seemed like a good reminder of the things that God is calling me to this Lent.