At the heart of the gospel message is the mercy of Jesus. A merciful Messiah, who is our blood ransom. A merciful healer and teacher who hears the begging of outsiders otherwise ignored by those blinded by the world’s wisdom – including, ironically, the son of the famous Greek philosopher, Timaeus. We may never understand all of Jesus’ inner thoughts, but perhaps Saint Mark is reminding us not to take Jesus’ presence for granted, especially among outsiders.
Jesus announced and enacted in history the new reality of God’s surprising activity. These two stories demonstrate that new reality. Women and children are accepted and valued, not dismissed as inferior to adult men. Lectionary 27 St. Mark 10.2-16 Sunday, October 3
Jesus has been teaching his disciples about what is most valued in God’s eyes. Now, a conversation with a rich man brings his message home to the disciples in a way that is surprising and unforgettable. Lectionary 28 St. Mark 10.17-31 Sunday, October 10
On the way to Jerusalem, the disciples ask Jesus to grant them seats of honor. Jesus responds by announcing that he and his followers will “rule” through self-giving service. Lectionary 29 St. Mark 10.35-45 Sunday, October 17
Bar-timaeus comes to Jesus with faith, asking that he might see again. Recognizing Jesus’ identity, Bar-timaeus is the first person to call him “Son of David” in the Gospel of Mark.
Lectionary 30 St. Mark 10.46-52 Sunday, October 24
Saint Mark’s narrative for Autumn concludes with a Reformation-type appropriate message of loving and sharing our whole lives with our neighbors in need. Although this year it may be impossible not to observe the traditional Reformation Day’s gospel invitation to discipleship centered in the word – St. John 8.31-36.
Not the church, nor any one church, is Truth. Rather, Jesus Christ is Truth. No church can claim ownership of the Word. Rather, Jesus is the Word. Lectionary 31 St. John 8.31-36 Sunday, October 31
Supporting the central proclamation of the gospel are heady prophetic readings from Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Amos, where God’s vindication and judgment loom large. Since some of these readings are first heard in the Incarnation half of the Church Year, their proclamation during the Discipleship half of the Church Year challenges us to pay attention to the suffering servants among us.
Who are the suffering servants among us here and now?