The lectionary readings for today are a little scary. In the first (from Genesis 6&7) God is lamenting that he created humans at all because of how wicked they have become. The only solution, God thinks, is destruction of all humans. animals and birds. “For I am sorry that I made them,” God says. Thank heaven that Noah showed up as the one shining creation, enough to save the world because “he did what God commanded him.”
In the gospel the disciples misinterpret a warning from Jesus to watch out for the leaven of Herod and the Pharisees. Because he used the word “leaven” to describe their wickedness, the disciples thought that Jesus was upset because they had forgotten to bring enough bread for all of them to eat. (MK 8:14-21) When Jesus realized their conclusion, he reacted with what sounds like uncharacteristic vehemence and frustration in a torrent of questions: Do you not yet understand or comprehend? Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? Do you still not understand?
Most of the time I do not consider God to depend on our strength or weakness, wickedness or upright behavior, perceptiveness or lack of understanding. I consider God (and Jesus while he lived among us) to be all knowing and loving, forgiving us everything. These readings have not changed my opinion but they do seem to have the effect this morning of making me want us to do better. It isn’t enough today for me to wring my hands at the political climate in our country and the world. And how many more “active shooters” will it take before I add my voice – not just in my home but to my Congressional representatives – about gun control? What is the purpose of reading these texts every morning if I simply put them aside and go on with my day? I don’t think it’s just up to me to save the world but if I’m not willing to make a little noise in God’s defense, how can I expect anything to change?