March 5, 2018

Monday after the Third Sunday in Lent

A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked. Mark 14:51-52


My New Testament professor in seminary loved to muse about this passage, which was funny in light of the fact that he did not like for us seminarians to interpret what was not written in scripture. Whenever one of us seminarians would break this rule he would say, “That’s all well and good, but the text does not say that. Your explanation is simply midrash.” And yet for him, this passage was fair game for this kind of extra scriptural interpretation. He fancied the idea that the little boy who ran off naked was none other than the gospel writer Mark himself. And he would throw a few facts our way to support his claim.

Going with the premise of his midrash makes me wonder about those seminal moments in each of our own day-to-day activities that change the trajectory of our lives forever. Again, making an assumption that we all have those events in our lives, it may be helpful to reflect and identify our own seminal moments. Is your moment the death of a loved one? Could it be a mountaintop experience? Might it be a time where you gave so much of yourself that you understood the power of servant ministry? Maybe it’s a time where you messed up your own life so badly that receiving and accepting grace was the only way to move forward in your life. Lent is full of opportunities for the discipline required in self-discovery. Today I invite you to reflect on those times in your life, good or bad, acknowledging that they somehow changed your life forever. After careful reflection, I invite you to pray. Because you never know how one day can change your life forever…if you let it.


Lord God we know that you are with us in all aspects of our lives. Please help us recognize your presence in all the things that we do and experience. Help us to have the discipline to be quiet and reflect on your activity in our lives. And then give us the wisdom to open our hearts so that you may work in and through our everyday lives. All this we ask in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


The Rev. Joseph K. Smith
Saint Mary’s, Wayne


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This is the official website of the Merion Deanery, a group of 13 Episcopal churches and communities located just outside of Philadelphia.

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