December 9, 2023

Read Mark 11:27-33.

The problem, as I see it, is one of a very small imagination.

I began volunteering at my children’s elementary school and somehow got myself in charge of the costumes for the school play. The dragon had to head butt the hero, thus stabbing her in the gut, and the horn had to get stuck! The heroine was to lay on her back in such a way that the audience could see the horn sticking out and causing her injury. All my seminary training never taught me how to conquer a detachable-yet-reattachable dragon horn.

So, I did what all resourceful college chaplains do. I invited myself to the “shop hours” in the theater department. I explained my situation to our theater students. The next day, I had a horn with two invisible magnets that could affix itself to a dragon’s headpiece or a heroine’s belt. Two weeks later, the dragon stabbed the heroine, the heroine saved the dragon’s life, the dragon’s tears healed the heroine’s wound, and everyone lived happily ever after.

My problem was a lack of imagination. The students had no such problem.

In this passage from Mark, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders could not imagine a God that is both mysterious and powerful. They could not imagine a Jesus who had the authority of heaven and the tenderness of the human touch. Jesus’ authority requires our imaginations to be open to hope, faith… and maybe a few magnets.


Holy God, we cannot imagine all that you are. Make our imaginations large enough that we do not put false limitations on who you are, or your love for us. Amen.

Rev. Doodle Harris Chaplain, Hastings College