Chapter Five: Following the Beloved

From Embodying Mark, p. 61:

Mark is a good book for people in the messy middle of life. It shows us the glory from the start and lets us glimpse the radiance of the mountaintop along the way, but it will not let us dwell there without also leading us through the strange wilderness of the cross. It will not let us be near Jesus and overlook the suffering crowds who run to him at every turn. It will not let us celebrate the Holy Spirit without hearing the cries of the unclean spirits, drawn painfully and inexorably to the one who will destroy them and free the oppressed person whose body and soul they torment. Mark forces us to see that it is not in glorious isolation but in these hard places that God especially chooses to dwell. And so Jesus is perhaps most likely to seek us out not when we are at our most luminescent but when we are at our point of greatest need.

Peter is not rebuked for his confusion on the mountaintop, and maybe that is because it is natural to wish to harness our experience of the heights of holiness. But even if they are fleeting or only out of the corner of our eye or from behind, like Moses’ view of God passing as he hides in the cleft of the rock (Exodus 33.18–23), glimpses of holiness stay with us. They work their way into our bones and become a source of courage long after we have left the mountaintop.

In your exploration of Mark 9:2-8, as you think, imagine, pray, and create, if there is anything you (or your group, if you are exploring Mark with others) would like to share — a thought, an idea, an image of a creative expression, or a video clip of a reading, presentation, or other creative embodiment of the text — please share that in a Reply box below.

If it is a thought or an idea, tell us about it. If it is a video, first put your video on YouTube, and then paste the URL (the YouTube address for that video) into your message in the Reply box, and the YouTube video will show up there; to get the right address for this, click on Share (you’ll see this option below the video), then select Embed and copy the address that comes up, then paste it into the Reply box, and once you post it, the video should appear. If it is a photo you would like to share, you can do this through any of a number of websites that allow you to share photos; I have tried it with Flickr, and to do it there, you tell it that you’d like to share the HTML (it lets you choose Link, HTML, or BBCode when you say you want to share the photo; you select HTML, and also select HTML rather than Embed). You may wish to write something about the photo or video.

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