Thursday, February 5, 2009
"For what does a person have if they get the whole world and lose their soul? What can you do to buy back your soul?" Mark 8:36-37
I've been thinking a great deal about the Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz lately. For a kid growing up in the fifties and sixties, this was a BIG deal. We watched this movie on TV with great excitement and anticipation. When we still had a black and white set and a friend had color, we would all run together to their house and park ourselves in front of their set. Their parents indulged us, knowing that they couldn't possibly get rid of us until that final scene had come and gone. The return home, the sorting out of an adventure turned disaster, a terrifying journey melted into a dream. I was raised on the scriptures, we read them daily around the table and I was raised with my native traditions too. But this one epic adventure knit me together with my friends. And now with my own children. We are all Dorothy, bored, frustrated and ignored with more power than she knew. We are all the tin woodsman, rusting in the elements; the scarecrow scattered and dependent on others; and the lion, scared to death of life but full of bravado. Each dependent on the others, each afraid to face their private weaknesses and nightmares. This story, every so often, comes back in mind to tell me something about the power that I have to chose home, and love's power to move from despair to redemption.
Jesus begins at this point to share with his disciples about the end of the road, the end of this part of their journey together. Peter doesn't want to hear about it, he doesn't want to face the challenges that are coming. Jesus challenges them all to follow him, to enter into the depth of dependency and trust and to walk a road littered with pitfalls and obstacles. Jesus promises them power, power in weakness, power in their ability to love God and follow Christ.
Today, as I remember the profound images I still carry with me from the Wizard of Oz, I want to give thanks for my complete dependency on God, and my complete need of the companions I have along the way - no matter how much care and assurance I need, or they need from me. I want to have the courage in Christ's name to gather up others along this journey, help them move again, re-stuff them if necessary, knowing that together we find our way home - we find our way to God. May we all rejoice in the journeys we have been given and may we all rejoice in the power we have been given in Jesus Christ - that all of us are children of a living and loving God who goes on this journey with us.