Showing posts from February, 2012

Reflections on the Gospel: Mark 1:9-15

Lent I - Endings and Beginnings Back to chapter 1 on this the first Sunday in Lent.  We have heard this same text now probably 4 or 5 times since the 1 st Sunday in Advent.  But each time there is something new, something unique that emerges from the text.  I do believe, however, that this is the last time we will encounter this particular text in year B of the lectionary.  Finally, in Lent we will move into the remainder of the Gospel, because now that we are on the road to Jerusalem; the road to the crucifixion. Jesus’ ministry has now begun.  It has been a difficult beginning in many ways.  The pace is so fast in this Gospel that it is easy to read past some many important details.  And on this 1 st Sunday in Lent the focus is on the details that are contained in verses 14 and 15: Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to the Galilee proclaiming the Good News of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom has come near; repent and believe in the Good N

Pray then in this way - Reflections on the Lord's Prayer

Pray Then in This Way Beginning in Lent we will begin our 40-day pilgrimage with a focus on the Lord’s Prayer.  This wonderful prayer is one which is familiar to all Christians and which has been a regular part of Christian worship since the early church.  It is so familiar that it runs the danger of becoming too familiar.  In other words, it is easy for something like this beautiful prayer which we recite over and over to become so familiar that it looses it’s edge and bite.  For this prayer has an edge.  Though it is based on the Psalm tradition of the Old Testament it nevertheless is, in many ways, a very radical prayer that lifts up God’s unexpected priority for God’s children and calls for a equally radical response from those who prayer this prayer. The first issue which this prayer lifts up, however, is that this prayer places prayer itself at the center of Christian life and discipleship. And it does provide a model for how we might structure our own prayers.  The

Reflections on the Gospel – Mark 9:2-9 – The Feast of the Transfiguration

Read the Gospel text here: Mark 9:2-10 “Listening to Jesus” We have been focused on the Gospel of Mark since the first Sunday in Advent and for the most part our lessons have come from Chapter 1 (pew bibles NT pg. 27).  In fact, next week (Lent I) we will actually return again one more time to chapter 1.  But this week we have made a jump to chapter 9 (pg. 34) that is the very center of the Gospel of Mark.  And since it is at the very center it is very important to our understanding of this Gospel.  So what has happened in chapters 2 through 8?  Well, remember in 1:14-15 we have a key verse which tells us that everything that follows is a proclamation of the Good News of the Kingdom of God come into our midst.  We have also come to understand in chapter 1 that this is more than words; in fact the Kingdom is most represented by what Jesus does!  And what does Jesus do?  Jesus calls and commissions disciples; Jesus confronts unclean spirits and casts them out; Jesus heals the

Reflections on the Gospel – St. Mark 1:29-39

Read the text of the Gospel here: St. Mark 1:29-39 A Kingdom Story … Jesus came to the Galilee proclaiming the Good News of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God has come near, repent and believe in the Good News.” (Mark 1:14-15) Last week I noted that everything that follows in the Gospel of Mark emerges from these verses (which themselves are a restatement of the heading which appears in verse 1).   After Jesus continues with his ministry we begin to get glimpses of what it means that the Kingdom of God has come into the world in Jesus.   Last week our Gospel text showed the power of the Holy Spirit, working in Jesus, confronting the unclean spirits of our world and overcoming them.   In this mini-resurrection story we see that in Jesus the Holy Spirit has the power and authority to confront and defeat the unclean spirits of this world that work against us and to restore us, give us back our lives.   But this is only a small glimpse