Thursday, 27 August 2015

Mark Series In Order

Mark became Peter’s interpreter and wrote accurately all that he remembered, not, indeed, in order, of the things said and done by the Lord.
Papias of Hierapolis (60-130AD)
One problem with blogs is that their archives tend to be in reverse order: most recent first. For many purposes that is helpful, but for posts supporting a sermon series on Mark's Gospel it seems less so.

Actually Mark himself is said to have written his Gospel thematically, rather than in chronological order (which is why it is so daft when people try to create a timeline of Jesus' three-year ministry from the four Gospels). So this list aims simply to reflect the order sections are in that Gospel, trying to highlight themes in the same sequence as Mark.

I've included a post or three written before the sermon series started, where they covered relevant ground.
  1. Mark After Trinity
  2. The introduction to the sermon series.

  3. Gospel Beginning
  4. The opening: a title and a one-line summary.

  5. Son Of God
  6. Who says religion and politics don't mix? Certainly not Mark.

  7. Good News Afresh
  8. What does Jesus say the good news ('Gospel') is? More to the point what do his actions show about that good news?

  9. Provoking A Reaction
  10. Mark tells a story which is pacey, emotive, and where Jesus deliberately says and does things which demand a response. Some people were amazed, others horrified, but Jesus couldn't be ignored.

  11. Awe & Wonder
  12. Jesus the rabbi, the teacher, the good man ... but "Who is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"

  13. Faith Power Action
  14. The lack of punctuation in the title is deliberate. A healing sandwich, but who is actually doing the healing?

  15. Reactions To Jesus
  16. A follow-on to post 5 really. This series challenges us to read and hear Mark's Gospel with fresh eyes and ears, and to respond anew to the Jesus we meet.

  17. Turning Toward Golgotha
  18. The half-way point. The penny drops for Peter then is lost again. A change of direction and a mountain-top experience.

  19. Turn & Step
  20. What does it look like to turn to God through Jesus and step out in faith?

  21. Are Wives Like Cars?
  22. Divorce: Jesus tries to change the mindset; sadly the church hasn't listened.

  23. Poverty, Service, Struggle
  24. An upside-down Kingdom and a Church called to be Jesus' hands and feet and heart and voice in its local communities.

  25. Bread, Wine & All-Age Worship
  26. Friendship, enmity and reconciliation.

  27. The Trap Closes
  28. The trap closes and the 'victim' is caught. Jesus is close to defeat and death ... in God's upside-down kingdom he knows that is the road that leads to life.

  29. Triumph Over Death
  30. That's the way Jesus' death and resurrection is told today. Mark, though, seems more ambiguous. Maybe in mid-to-late 60's Rome it didn't really feel that way.

  31. Not The End
  32. Mark's Gospel doesn't really finish ... more precisely, the finish in our Bibles was clearly added much later. Mark leaves us a cliff-hanger: will they or won't they? It's an ongoing story and the final open-ended question still hangs there today.

  33. Why?
  34. Why did Mark write this Gospel account; why had Mark's companions in Rome (and beyond) suffered so much; and why do Jesus' followers still suffer today?
PS: I know that I have left the previous two posts half completed, waiting for a part two (actually there should be a part three to the 'Trinity' posts also - about mission and the Trinity - although I need to do more thinking about that). Hopefully I will do those soon, but I wanted to get this Mark resequence done quickly, while it might still be relevant.

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