Between the Lines: Pentecost 2: June 10, 2012

Text: Mark 3:20-35

Hall Freud Jung in front of Clark

Hall Freud Jung in front of Clark (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”

The recent film A Dangerous Method tells a story of Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud along with a psychiatric patient named Sabina Spielrein. In the course of her successful treatment, Sabina has an affair with Jung that changes both their lives. The charges of adultery and unethical practice are part of the scandal that includes Emma Jung who countenances her husband’s behavior and stays with the marriage. The closing scene of the film shows Sabina leaving Jung for her journey to Vienna to work with Freud. Jung sits alone and says to himself: “Sometimes you have to do something unforgivable to go on living.”

What do you know of someone who has broken a law, transgressed a taboo or crossed a boundary – done the unforgivable – and thereby found life? What was the price they paid? What might they have gained for self and others? The question is not simply about sexual matters. Imagine the other thousand and one ways in which we deny ourselves and others life for the sake of purity or virtue, orthodox belief or honorable example, a blameless reputation or saintly persona. What is the life that you have denied yourself because of what you have considered to be the unforgivable sin? Or, on the other hand, what has been your unforgivable sin?  What is the life you found by committing it?

– Bill Dols

“Between the Lines” is excerpted from BibleWorkbench, a weekly resource for engaging the biblical story in a new way published by the Educational Center in Charlotte, NC. BibleWorkbench includes a series of open-ended questions focused on a reading in the Common Lectionary aimed at drawing readers into the story and making connections with the world around them and the world within. Also included are “Between the Lines” reflections, Parallel Readings from literature, poetry, and the news, and Critical Background on the text and its setting. For details and subscription information, go to

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