Friday Followings: Mark: A Riveting and Fast Moving Account of Jesus’ Life

Hello Gloria Dei,
Within our worship life together, we are in the early stages of a four month journey through the gospel of Mark. Mark is the shortest of the four gospels, and is considered by most biblical scholars to be the first one written. We know that both Matthew and Luke used the gospel of Mark as they wrote and expanded their own accounts of Jesus’ life. Mark contains 661 verses. Matthew reproduces 606 of these and Luke reproduces 320. Matthew and Luke both include details of Jesus’ birth. Mark does not. Matthew and Luke expand upon Jesus’ teachings and miracles, much of which Mark does not include. Yet, the ebb and flow of Jesus’ life is the same within all three of these synoptic (to see together) gospels. And Mark, the earliest of these, sets the tone for us as we journey with Jesus through his public ministry, trial, death, and resurrection.
Mark often uses the word “immediately” in is writing. In the Greek he uses it 41 times, ten of which occur in Mark chapter one. His use of this word creates a sense of urgency: “There is no time to waste. Listen now! Believe now! Follow now!” I like this emphasis of Jesus within Mark’s writing. Christ’s church always needs to have a sense of urgency about the gospel. It’s of vast importance, and we ought not put off the living out and sharing of the good news until later. At Gloria Dei, we are to remain urgent about the great news of God’s love in Jesus Christ.
I encourage you to read Mark chapter one in preparation for worship this weekend.  Last week we saw how the heavens were torn open when Jesus was baptized and began his public ministry. In the person of Jesus, God is set loose in this world in a new way, promising never to leave us alone.
This week our focus will be on Mark 1:16-20. Jesus calls his first disciples, a reminder that we too are called by Jesus to follow him above all else.
In addition, please note that the Gloria Dei Annual Meeting is on Sunday, January 27, at 11:45. We’ll hear reports from our Council President and Senior Pastor; we’ll review the 2018 financial report; and we’ll vote to approve a financial plan for 2019. Please make every effort to be present.
See you in worship!
Pastor Tim