2nd Sunday of Lent

Gospel Lesson: Mark 8:31-38

Key Verse: “You are not thinking God’s thoughts but human thoughts.”

Commentary

Although Peter had been a disciple since the earliest days of Jesus’ ministry, when Jesus announces his crucifixion and resurrection, Peter insists upon scolding and correcting Jesus. Whether it is concern for Jesus, fear for the ministry, or some other issue that sparks Peter’s response, Jesus says he is thinking like a human. While we might rush to defend Peter (and ourselves) by responding that we are human, and we can’t be expected to think God thoughts, Jesus will not let us off so easily. As disciples, listening to his preaching and teaching, observing and participating in acts of healing, feeding, and mercy, we can learn to think “God thoughts.” But as Jesus goes on to teach, God thoughts often put our safety and comfort at risk. When we begin to think God thoughts, we forget ourselves, and the needs of others become our priority. Losing the life we planned, giving up what we thought would make for a good life, is not easy at the best of times. We cannot do it if we are thinking human thoughts. But if we catch even a glimmer of God thoughts, we see that giving up this life in exchange for real life is the best deal offered.

 

Meditation/Call to Action

  • Consider a time when it was necessary to give something up to be faithful to Jesus. Perhaps it was speaking up to friends who told jokes or stories that made fun of women, Jewish believers, or people of another culture or ethnicity. Maybe it involved refusing to participate in a party or event to which “everyone was going.” In what way did that affect your spiritual life, and your relationship with God?
  • When Jesus asks something of us, even if it is very difficult, God provides all that we need to do what is being asked of us. What would you ask God to provide if you were asked to give up your life for the sake of the good news?
 
Prayer

O God,

            whose thoughts are not our thoughts,

            and whose ways are not always clear to us,

when you ask us to follow God thoughts instead of human thoughts,

            give us your Spirit to lead and protect us,

            and give us faith to do the work you expect of us. Amen.

 


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