Me? Share? Weekly Reflection 9-23-15

 Texts for Sunday September 27
 Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29
 Psalm 19:7-14

 James 5:13-20
 Mark 9:38-50

Possessiveness? Insecurity? Territorial-ism? Need to control?

I’m not sure what drives it, but it is a very human attitude to say – "Hey, that’s mine." "Hey, you can’t do that – that’s my job. Back off."  "Teacherrrrr! I saw them..."

I’ve worked in an infant development center and it really doesn’t take us long to start setting those boundaries and claiming stuff as MINE. Yes, it is an important developmental step and a very natural part of becoming human - which is my point. Humans are like that. But another developmental step is that we learn to share.  Admittedly, the mature brain should be more measured in our response to incursions and should be able to share, but, also admittedly, we don’t always manage that. 

In the first lesson for this Sunday, after a bit of whining from the Israelites, and an argument between God and Moses, God told him to pick 70 elders to help him manage the great mass of people in the desert.  They gathered for a meeting where God took some of the spirit that had rested solely on Moses and distributed it among the elders. In this way, the elders would bear the burden of the people with him. The visible manifestation of receiving the spirit was that they prophesied.  Interestingly the spirit “leaked” somehow and landed on two guys who did not attend the spirit meeting. An assistant of Moses rushed to tattle – "I saw them prophesying ."  Moses said, "Good. The more the merrier or at least, the more the better the burden is shared."

In the Gospel, a very similar story takes place. The disciples tell Jesus that "we saw people casting out demons in your name so we told ‘em to stop". (These are the same disciples who couldn’t manage to drive out a demon earlier in Mark - ouch) Jesus tells them that it’ll be ok. "We are on the same team. Whoever is not against us is for us. Don’t trip them up."

We are not any different. We forget who is on our team. We don’t want other groups treading upon our wonderful work. We don’t want someone else to do our job. We certainly don’t want someone to do the job better than we can.

It is a good week to think about ego…what gives you your sense of well-being and identity? What threatens that sense of security-in-self for you?

Here’s a great quote….great mostly because of the “ouch factor” of its truth.
He was modest – thanks to a robust conviction of his own superiority…. he took more pleasure in the failures of others than in his own successes.
- Dag Hammerskjold, Markings

And how about sharing? What work is it that you don’t really want to share with others?  What are the benefits of sharing your work? So what stops you?

Want to read the texts? Go to the Oremus Bible Browser.

Want more to reflect more on these texts? Check out the G.I.F.T. post on 9/27.

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Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245