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Mark 8:36

Mark 8:36

Mark 8:36

For what shall it profit a person, if s/he shall gain the whole world, and lose their own soul?

Some would say that our society is driven by profit (capitalism).  As one of the richest nations in the world the question of what we won’t do, or allow, for the sake of profit is ours to consider. In this passage of scripture, to lose one’s soul can be understood as losing one’s moral compass. What does it profit an individual or a nation to lose touch with their own humanity?  What does it profit us to become so indifferent to one another’s quality of life that our society’s legislation is driven by special interests (the pursuit of wealth)?

As this nation prepares to give thanks for our abundance and our opulence, the question asked by Howard Thurman haunts me.  He asked of us, what is our truth, the basis of our self-respect?  Our Christ asks of us, what are you doing for the least of these?

Once again, and so very soon, “the least of these” are people who are killed in incidences of mass murder.  Again we ask, what is the condition of our souls, our collective psyche, that this phenomenon remains of regular occurrence in our society?  What does our indifference to one another say about our collective mental health as a nation?  Yes!  Our hearts grieve for the church members and the community in Texas.  As a nation, will we simply say heartfelt prayers, and then return to business, as usual, as a nation of lost souls bound in the pursuit of profits?

This is not a statement crafted with a need to shame anyone. This age old question in sacred scripture asks what we gain by our individual and collective indifference to the value of human life and it remains ours to answer.  The way one answers this question by word and deed demonstrates the truth about his or her own life’s meaning.  Our response to this question measures our collective regard for humanity (all life).

Please take a moment to “stand before a mirror” and reflect on this scripture passage in Mark 8:36.  What needs do you pursue in ways that cost the loss of your own soul and/or our collective consciousness?

Rev. Dr. James E. McJunkin, Jr.

Executive Minister

November 6, 2017