Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Come out and Play: July 6

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Come out and Play: July 6

Article excerpt

Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67; Psalm 45:10-17; Romans 7:15-25; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30

In a gospel that calls us repeatedly to hear and listen, we begin with a noisy passage full of calling, quarreling, wailing, and flutes. This first reading is the odd one out in a month of kingdom parables.

Jesus asks, "But to what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another, "We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not mourn'" (Matthew 11:16-17).

I find the idea of children in the marketplace compelling. It suggests to me those most vulnerable to the harms of global capitalism and raises the issues of child labor and economic extraction. But unlike most gospel references to children and little ones, the children in this story do not represent society's least powerful. These children are more autonomous but less positively portrayed--Jesus compares his own generation to them, and in Matthew, generation is never a good word.

The children in the market call "let's play wedding, let's play funeral" to companions who will not join them. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.