Mark 10:17-31 (NRSV)
As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone. You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not bear false witness; You shall not defraud; Honor your father and mother.’” He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these since my youth.” Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Then Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it will be for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” And the disciples were perplexed at these words. But Jesus said to them again, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” They were greatly astounded and said to one another, “Then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “For mortals it is impossible, but not for God; for God all things are possible.”
Peter began to say to him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields, for my sake and for the sake of the good news, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this age—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.”
This year’s theme “Sunday Morning, Monday Morning” is a challenge to us all. Surrounded by friends of like mind, Sunday morning is a joy, everything about the Sunday morning experience is about love, friendship, comfort, and peace. The church is the place of respite after a busy week, and it is the sanctuary spot before we head into the next week of “real life.” We learn on Sunday morning what rules to follow and we understand them.
In the reading we have this fellow who says to Jesus, Look I have known from my youth what the rules are: no adultery, no stealing, no false witness, etc…and I have kept them all. These are the Sunday rules we all can recite. Then, with love, Jesus said, “You lack one thing; go sell what you own, and give the money to the poor…” The man went away grieving. That is the Monday morning challenge.
The disciples were perplexed, and Jesus told them “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than a rich person to get into the kingdom of heaven.” The disciples then ask Jesus, “Who can be saved?”
The response from Jesus! It is impossible for us, but not for God; for God all things are possible.
It would be wise to remember we are judged not by just our Sunday behavior, but by our seven day behavior. Monday is the time to get serious and act on our faith.
It’s Thursday. How are you doing this week?
Gracious God, please give me the strength to carry my Sunday understanding to the rest of the days of the week, and let me be a vessel of your love 24/7/365. Amen.