Tag Archive: Mark


Mark 10:2-26

“Jesus, what’s the point of the Law?  On what grounds is divorce acceptable?” the Pharisees ask Jesus.  You would think that the Pharisees would learn their lesson.  Every time they come to test Jesus, to back him into a corner, it is they who leave entangled.  This encounter is no different.

The Pharisees want to talk about the Law and divorce, but Jesus wants to talk about Creation and love.  The Pharisees are concerned with Deuteronomy, Jesus goes back to Genesis.  Jesus says, “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female’…and the two will become one flesh.’  So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”  God created humanity in love for the purpose of loving God and one another.

Love, not a rule about divorce, is what Jesus wishes to promote. But not just any love.  Christ calls Creation to a love for Him and one another that is unconditional.  A love without boundaries.  A love without limits.  Jesus might say, “If we can get the beginning right- if we can get the love right- then the divorce question will take care of itself.”

How are we able to love our spouses and neighbors in such an extraordinary and extravagant way?  With the grace of God.  By knowing that we have a Lord and Savior who loves us this way.  Christ didn’t come to earth to gives us a bunch of rules.  God became incarnate, died, and was resurrected in order to show us how to love.  He came to show us true obedience, commitment, sacrifice, and fidelity.  We love because Christ first loved us (1 Jn 4:19).

This love without limits that Christ calls us to is articulated nicely in our marriage vows.  We love in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, for pricher or poorer.  We love when we don’t feel like it. We love even when its difficult and we don’t think we can.  Some will say, “But my neighbor is a scoundrel. My wife is my enemy.  Love is just not an option!”  But what did Jesus say about our enemies?  Love even them…unconditonally…without limits.

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Mark 6:30-34, 53-56 — The crowds come calling

When Jesus and the disciples come ashore, the crowds recognize and flock to Jesus.  They desperately want an encounter with God; it’s an experience with Jesus they are seeking.  In Jesus, they’ve recognized love, healing, and compassion, and they want to be a part of it.  Today, I dare say the world does not always recognize the Church (Christ’s Body) as a place of love, mercy, and grace.  Too often the newspaper headlines speak of church fracture, church fighting, and church finger-pointing.  How can we expect people to encounter God in the midst of such unpleasantness?  Rather, if we wish to help others realize the connection God has already established with them perhaps we should do what Christ did for the crowds: Stop.  Listen.  Love.  Show compassion.  If we yearn for others to have an encounter with Christ maybe we start by simply loving them as Christ first loved us.

Mark 6:14-29 — The Beheading of John the Baptist

Many of us look upon this text with shock, maybe even fear.  We might best describe it as a “text of terror.”  Today, moments of terror, or fear, still break in to our lives.  There’s the terror of broken homes and fractured families.  We trembled when the doctor pronounces the diagnosis.  We fear the loss of loved ones.  Jobs, finances, uncertainty, and fear of failure are all terrifying propositions.  In those moments, our own “text of terror” plays itself out in our daily lives.  Yet, there is hope.  In the end, the disciples come to gather, hold, and bury John’s body.  God, not Herod, has the final say.  Today’s disciples, the Church, remains at the ready, waiting to hold those who hurt, grieve, and experience loss.  In the toughest of times, when it seems as if the terror is too much, call upon the Church.  Call upon God, who through the Christ’s body (the Church), promises to hold, to nurture, and to love those who call upon His name.

The Donkey

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born;

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

G.K. Chesterton (1874–1936)

Lectionary, March 8

The Revised Common Lectionary texts for this week:

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

Psalm 22:23-31

Romans 4:13-25

Mark 8:31-38

Lectionary, March 1

The Revised Common Lectionary texts for this week:

Genesis 9:8-17

Psalm 25:1-10

1 Peter 3:18-22

Mark 1:9-15

The Revised Common Lectionary texts for this week:

2 Kings 2:1-12

Psalm 50:1-6

2 Corinthians 4:3-6

Mark 9:2-9

Lectionary, February 15

The Revised Common Lectionary texts for this week:

2 Kings 5:1-14

Psalm 30

1 Corinthians 9:24-27

Mark 1:40-45

Lectionary, Febraury 8

The Revised Common Lectionary texts for this week:

Isaiah 40:21-31

Psalm 147:1-11, 20c

1 Corinthians 9:16-23

Mark 1:29-39

Lectionary, February 1

The Revised Common Lectionary texts for this week:

Deuteronomy 18:15-20

Psalm 111

1 Corinthians 8:1-13

Mark 1:21-28

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