Prayer: Dear God, Help us to sit in uncomfortable times. Help us to see beyond our belongings to you. Amen
Reading: Mark 10: 17-31 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: I’m going to be honest, this text makes me uncomfortable. It is harder for the rich to get to the kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle? I worked at Camp Mount Luther, I’ve seen camels and they are not about to fit through the eye of a needle. While I don’t consider myself rich, the reality is most of us reading this are rich compared to the rest of the world. I don’t have to worry about having enough food or where I am going to sleep tonight. I have more clothes than I would ever need. So where does that put us in the context of this passage? As verse 26 says, “Who then can be saved?”
I don’t have any of the answers to that those questions, but I encourage you to sit with that uncomfortable feeling.
In the meantime, this passage makes me think of a book I had growing up called The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau. I don’t know if the author wrote it meaning to relate to this passage, but I like to think so. If you have a chance, click the link below and read it. (Note: The actually book is beautiful, and I highly encourage buying it if you like this. This PDF doesn’t do the artwork justice.)
The gist is, the king ends up giving away all his treasures, and that is when he is truly happy. At first, he is looking for happiness in all his stuff. Where do we look for our happiness? If we put the most value on our stuff, we most definitely become the camel who cannot fit through the needle. But when we lift our eyes from our stuff and look beyond, when riches, belongings, money, and stuff are not our priority-that is when I hear Jesus saying in verse 27, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”
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