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Bartimaeus Eyes

Mark 10:35-52 The story opens late at night. James and John, twins and disciples of Jesus, approach Jesus not with a question but a request. They tell Jesus, “We want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” Jesus takes the bait and asks, “Okay, then, what do you want me to do for you?” Careful, now, Jesus, because that question can unleash our fondest fantasies, as if we were children set free in a candy shop or a toy store with money being no object. It is a popular question in religious America today. It suggests the kind of God being served up on silver platters from prosperity preachers. Listen to any of them and you will hear about a Jesus who wants to make you wealthy, and that James

AMEN

Romans 11:33-36; Revelation 21:3-4; 22:20-21 As a child, when the choir sang the threefold “Amen” after the benediction, my heart would soar. The final “Amen” was a sure-fire signal to my young, not-so-pious mind that church torture was nearly over. I would soon be free from the noose around my neck that my mom insisted was a beautiful bow tie. In next to no time, my blister producing Buster Brown shoes would be tossed back in the box in my closet and I would return to the important business of play that my non-churchgoing neighbors had been doing during my forced exile in church. Yes, as a child, I lived for “Amen.” Many, many years later, I still live for “Amen, but for very different reas

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