Thursday, March 04, 2010

Genesis 42:29-38
Psalms 70, 71, 74
1 Corinthians 6:12-30
Mark 4:21-34

This fall I helped coach a boy’s volleyball team. Every practice we worked on overhand serves. We coaches tried many different strategies and approaches to help the boys learn to execute an overhand serve correctly.

For some boys, all we did was show them once, and they got it. For others, we related the serve to throwing a baseball. The light went on for some of the boys when we talked about power and strength. One boy really started serving great when I asked him if he ever got mad at his older sister! It was very interesting that the context of the message was such a critical factor for the boys to understand the content of the message.

I thought about this as I read the different parables in today's Gospel reading. All of the images would have been very common to the hearers of the parables: a lamp on a stand, a growing seed, a mustard seed. But I wonder if the hearers were like my volleyball boys, and some of the stories just went right over their heads. That may be one reason that Jesus used so many different parables -- he was trying to find something to reach everyone.

What I loved from today's reading was the final sentence:

"But when he was alone with his own disciple, he explained everything." (Mark 4:34)

That is one of the truths that I am going to take away this Lenten season. Jesus wants me to understand his message and ministry. When I am alone with him, he will explain things to me.


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