Showing posts from November, 2014

Reflections on the Gospel – Mark 13:24-37

Read the text here:  Mark 13:24-37 Keep Awake! Be Prepared! The Lord is coming! These themes of the season of Advent are also themes of this passage in the Gospel of Mark.   Last week we finished our experience of the Gospel of Matthew with the prophecy of the Sheep and the Goats from Matthew 25; this week we begin our year of Mark with a passage from the heart of what is called the “Little Apocalypse” in Mark.   Last week Matthew gives us a rather unambiguous teaching on the Last Judgment and the centrality of Faith in Action; this week Mark gives us a very ambiguous look into the future to the Day of the Lord and what our response is to be.   What in the world is this all about? First, a definition is in order - the word: Apocalypse.   The word itself comes from a Greek word which literally means “lifting the veil” or “revelation.”   The first of these definitions is especially important and relevant for Mark because the climactic event in Mark’s telling of the story of Jesus is

Reflections on the Gospel – “The Sheep and the Goats” Matthew 25:31-46

Read the text here:  Matthew 25:31-46 Surprise!!! We have come to the last Sunday of the church year and the last Sunday of our year of Matthew.   This Sunday is also celebrated as the Feast of Christ the King or the Feast of the Reign of Christ.   The text is the prophecy of the sheep and the goats and is a judgment prophecy.   The context of this passage is important in that it is contained in the very last teaching discourse in Matthew.   Immediately following this – in chapter 26 – we move into the passion narrative. It is important to recognize this on a day in which we are celebrating the “Kingship” of Jesus for Kingship looms large in the Gospel of Matthew.   The kings of this world (like Herod in Chapter 2) are enthroned in glory and splendor and have power and authority concentrated in them.   Some of them were considered to be gods.   But Jesus, our King, is enthroned on a cross, wearing a crown of thorns.   Jesus does hold the authority and power of God, but gives it up

Reflections on the Parable – The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Maidens - Matthew 25:1-13

Read the text here:  Matthew 25:1-13 Give Me Oil For My Lamp! The parable of the 10 Bridesmaids is perhaps one of the best known, but also one of the most difficult of all of Jesus’ parables. Perhaps this is because it really takes aim at us modern Christians – right where we are most vulnerable: the pace of life! On the one hand we live in a very fast-paced and impatient world.   We hate waiting; we are uncomfortable with silence. We need to have something going on all of the time. We get impatient with waiting at the doctor’s office or standing in long lines or with an internet connection that isn’t as fast as we would like.   We can hardly wait – we can hardly stand to wait!   But then on the other hand we are procrastinators. I don’t feel like it.   I’ll do it tomorrow. I’ll finish that model with my son tomorrow, I’ll visit my mom in the nursing home tomorrow, I’ll start reading the bible and praying tomorrow, I’ll give a little more of my time and money to the church tomor