Friday, December 23, 2011

Gospel According to Pop: Episode 10 (Orbiting: The Weepies)

This episode is sung by the amazing Ally Nugent.

Mark 3:
21 When his family heard it, they went out to restrain him, for people were saying, "He has gone out of his mind." 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem said, "He has Beelzebul, and by the ruler of the demons he casts out demons." 23 And he called them to him, and spoke to them in parables, "How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. 27 But no one can enter a strong man's house and plunder his property without first tying up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered. 28 "Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin"-- 30 for they had said, "He has an unclean spirit." 31 Then his mother and his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. 32 A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him, "Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you." 33 And he replied, "Who are my mother and my brothers?" 34 And looking at those who sat around him, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother."

This song is for one of the moments in the gospels that always sticks to my ribs and feels like there is so much more to explore in the story. It's the moment in the Gospel of Mark where Mary is convinced that Jesus is a demon and comes to take him home because the neighbors are talking about his behavior. Jesus' response to his mother coming to get him is to deny her by telling those who are learning from him that they are his true family.

This is a moment that resonates with a lot of people who have created families that replace their biological ones. Sometimes families hesitate in their unconditional love when a member of the family takes what is thought to be an unconventional path.

This song takes a mature look at the text and that there isn't an easy sitcom solution. As I meditate on this story, with this song I like to alternate the voice of the singer from Mary to Jesus and back again.

This like so many family disputes is one where I imagine both people think they are right and are acting with the best intentions and out of love. I imagine them each standing on their side of the door wishing the other could join them on the the journey that is leading them away from each other.

I couldn't find any ancient images of this story or icons. So instead I've found images that highlight their relationship or show them near a door.

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