abandon: Mark 8:31-38

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Welcome to scattered and sown, A weekly guided meditation based on the revised common lectionary

This episode is a meditation based on Mark 8:31-38 the Gospel lesson for the Second Sunday in Lent, year B.

Find a quiet place, where you can be undisturbed for a few moments. And, turn off the notifications on your devices.

Get in a comfortable position and close your eyes.

We can so often find our lives, our bodies, our minds, our days filled with tensions. We are pulled this way, and that way.

We find ourselves in situations where we are uncomfortably in the middle of people who we love. We readily place demands upon ourselves that are almost impossible to meet, and which take a great toll upon us.

We hold on for dear life for many reasons, but mostly because of fear. We fear losing.

We fear losing money.
We fear losing time.
We fear losing security.
We fear losing control.
We fear losing life.

But, Jesus tells us that those who want to save their lives will lose them, but those who lose their life for the sake of the Gospel will find their lives saved.

There is a saving IN the losing.

Release, abandon, and letting go are the only way we will be saved.

Clenching down and holding on are the surest way to lose it all.

This sounds ridiculous. Completely counter-intuitive. It goes against our basest instincts. When we feel ourselves fall we flail wildly for something to hold onto.

Jesus says it is only in the falling that we will be saved.

It is only in the cross that there is victory. It is only through death that we find a life that has no end.

So, relax your shoulders.

And your chest, and your abdomen.

Relax your arms and your legs.

Relax them, and then relax them again – for there is still probably tension there.

Relax your neck, and your face, your eyes, and your scalp.

Relax your hands and feet, your fingers and your toes.

With your body relaxed – with every muscle having let go… what else do you need to let go of?

Search your soul for the knots of resentments. The people you resent. The situations you resent being put into.

Ask God to help you let them go.

Search your soul for people who you have not forgiven. Recall the things they did, the things they said, and the things they failed to do. Recall the ways they let you down.

Ask God to help you to release those feelings. Ask God for help in healing and forgiving.

Remember, forgiving them isn’t letting them off some hook. It’s removing the hook from you. It’s freeing you every bit as it might free them.

Recall all the ways you try and build up security for yourself. The things you buy that you don’t really need. The things you horde. They little ways you put yourself before and above others.

Ask God to help you to let those things go.

Ask to be placed in God’s hand, and not your own.

Ask God to help you love your neighbor better, giving to your neighbor who may be in need what you don’t need.

Recall the habits and addictions that overtake minutes, or hours, or days of your life. Things that draw you away from who God wants you to be, and who you want to be.

Ask God to give you the strength and wisdom to let those things go.

Ask God to give you the strength to seek help from others when necessary. You do not need to walk these roads alone.

Is there anything else you need to let go? Is there anything else you need to lose? Is there anything else you can release your vice-like grip from?

Now, free, liberated and ready to bear your cross, let us pray the prayer Jesus taught us… Our Father.

The Author

follower of Jesus, father of two, husband of one, Episcopal priest, with one book down, one blog up...surrounded by empty jars of nutella