Crumbs

Our Gospel text from Mark 7 includes a very troubling incident in the life of Jesus. In order to grasp it we need a bit of history. We also may need to speculate. Jesus sounds mean and insensitive. Or, Jesus offers a sarcastic response that would have more befitted the Pharisees in an attempt to undermine how terribly they often treated others – neighbors. Surely this would be a violation of the aim of God in Deuteronomy that his people would express a love for YHWH in love toward neighbors.

How would we capture this today? Bono, of U2 fame, commented on the song Crumbs from Your Table from their album, How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Here is what he said followed by the song’s lyrics.

“Crumbs from Your Table” is about the relationship between Western countries and developing countries. The verses and chorus address the relationship from the perspective of citizens from the developing world, focusing on the disparity between the long-term socioeconomic planning stressed by the West (“You speak in signs and wonders”) and the developing world’s immediate need for sustenance (“But I’m begging for the crumbs from your table”). One line (“You speak in signs and wonders”) was meant as a criticism of the Catholic Church.[10] The bridge (“Where you live should not decide / Whether you live or whether you die”) is statement from Bono that follows with the theme in his speeches in which he tries to raise awareness about African poverty.

From the brightest star

Comes the blackest hole

You had so much to offer

Why did you offer your soul?

I was there for you baby

When you needed my help

Would you deny for others

What you demand for yourself?

 

Cool down mama, cool off

Cool down mama, cool off

 

You speak of signs and wonders

I need something other

I would believe if I was able

But I’m waiting on the crumbs from your table

 

You were pretty as a picture

It was all there to see

Then your face caught up with your psychology

With a mouth full of teeth

You ate all your friends

And you broke every heart thinking every heart mends

 

You speak of signs and wonders

But I need something other

I would believe if I was able

But I’m waiting on the crumbs from your table

 

Where you live should not decide

Whether you live or whether you die

Three to a bed

Sister Ann, she said

Dignity passes by

 

And you speak of signs and wonders

But I need something other

I would believe if I was able

I’m waiting on the crumbs from your table

 

Jesus invites people into his life and his way. He takes what is and points to the new way of the Kingdom of God.  Come see what this journey is all about!

One way to think about the mission of Jesus - He calls into question the way things are and points to the way things may be in the Kingdom of God. 

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