Between the Lines: Pentecost 18: September 30, 2012

Text: Mark 9:38-50


battle (Photo credit: pshab)

But Jesus said, “So not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me.  Whoever is not against us is for us.

    What strikes me this morning about this passage is the difference between “whoever is not against us is for us…” and the cultural commonplace of its converse—“whoever is not for us is against us.”  What’s the difference between these two attitudes?  What implications lie between them for our personal lives, our political lives, our sense of community?  Who’s “the enemy” here?

Where in the world you live in, at work, in your family, among those who do deeds of power, do you see these attitudes?  What difference might it make personally if we did one rather than the other?

Take a few moments, stand up, and let your body express “Whoever is not for us is against us.”  Shake it loose, then let your body express “Whoever is not against us is for us.”

What might your body have to tell you about this passage?

– Beth Harrison

“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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