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Christ in Our Home

Mark 8:27-30

Perplexing silence

[Jesus] sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him. (v. 30)

I have always been mystified by Jesus commanding his disciples to keep silent about him. Of course, biblical scholars and theologians have proposed explanations for this theme in Mark’s story, the most satisfactory ones having to do with the central focus on Jesus’ coming passion and death. Still, I remain captivated by Jesus’ cryptic words.

Then I listen to all the voices telling us who Jesus is—or, rather, their idea of who he is. We are told in many different ways what Jesus truly stood for, what his life was about, and what it means to follow him. Yet when Jesus asks us directly along with his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” we are not being called to answer with only words. Rather, Jesus is calling us to follow him on the way to the cross, to respond with the way we live for God and for others. As a saying attributed to St. Francis urges, we are to “preach the gospel at all times, [and] when necessary, use words.”

Lord, let my actions speak who you are to those in the world who need to hear the good news of salvation. Amen.

Prayer concern: Those who lack basic needs for living

Genesis 16:7-15; Psalm 22:23-31

Writers for February: Kevin Kretzmann Farrar (February 1–14), Aaron Fuller (February 15–28)

Christ in Our Home, copyright © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. For local distribution only. No further reproduction allowed without the written permission of Augsburg Fortress.

Scripture readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary © 1992, 2012 Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission. Texts specific to festivals and commemorations are used when appropriate. For more information about these days, see More Days for Praise: Festivals and Commemorations in Evangelical Lutheran Worship.

Unless otherwise noted, all scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved. Quotations marked ELW are reprinted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship, copyright © 2006.