Reflection-Joshua Nolen

Joshua Nolen
July 15, 2012

When Randy asked if I would do a reflection on the lectionary while he was away, I took at look at the Gospel lesson and found this story about the death of John the Baptist:

Herod had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip's wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, "It is not lawful for you to have your brother's wife." And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When [Herod] heard [John], he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When the daughter of Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, "Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it." And he solemnly swore to her, "Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.”  She went out and said to her mother, "What should I ask for?" Her mother replied, "The head of John the baptizer." Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, "I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter."

When I first read this passage, I honestly didn’t know how I was going to come up with a personal reflection. But then it made me think of our middle schoolers, or “Junior Yootz,” who this past spring met each Sunday between services to study the Gospel of Mark.

This spring, we began a new “Middlers in the Morning” program, Sunday mornings between the services.  For 16 Sundays, my wife Karis and I met with the middlers in the basement and each Sunday we read a chapter from Mark’s Gospel. After talking about the stories and their implications on our lives, we picked one word or phrase from the chapter which we wrote on a piece of paper, drew a picture of it, and hung up on the wall. I’d like to share those with you: