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September 21, 2015 Mark 2:18-27


wedding field

Prayer for Illumination

Living God, open my heart, mind, and body to experience you in this reading of scripture, that in experiencing you I might grow into someone who brings you honor. Amen.


2:18 Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, ‘Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?’ 19Jesus said to them, ‘The wedding-guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.

21 ‘No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.’

23 One sabbath he was going through the cornfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24The Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?’25And he said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need of food? 26He entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and he gave some to his companions.’ 27Then he said to them, ‘The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; 28so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.’


wedding wheat

Today’s reading features a series of inquiries about the behavior of Christ and his disciples. First, a question about fasting, then a question about working on the Sabbath.

Why aren’t Christ and his disciples keeping the traditions? Christ responds with an analogy to a wedding, an analogy to wine, and an analogy to bread.

Meditate on one or all of these images:

Christ as a groom and you as a guest at his wedding.

Christ as a new variety of wine that has been given to you to taste.

Christ as bread that is only to be eaten by holy hands but has been given to those who hunger most.

To Post:

If you’re participating in these daily readings through Facebook, comment to this post with your answer to this question:

Can you put in your own words the special circumstance(s) Christ is pointing out when people inquire as to why his disciples are behaving differently than the tradition asks them to?

Opportunity for Action:

If you are married, get in touch with someone who was a guest at your wedding with whom you haven’t spoken in a while–just to reconnect.

And/or, if you drink wine ever, enjoy a glass with a friend and mention the “wineskins” parable.

And/or, if you have some bread in the house, enjoy a piece of it alone as a snack while pondering Christ’s reference to the “bread of presence.”


Closing Prayer

Offer your own prayer or simply close your time of reflection with the Lord’s Prayer spoken aloud.