For Mark, as for the Church, the focus of his Gospel is the Cross and Jesus’ journey towards the ultimate conflict that leads to his crucifixion. As we read through Mark over the next two months (and as the lectionary finishes up Mark during this same period), pay attention to how Mark moves this story along. For example, in the readings this week we see Jesus calling his disciples and gathering to himself outcasts, tax collectors, and sinners. On the other hand, we see Jesus’ conflict with the religious authorities – Pharisees, scribes, and teachers of the law – whose very obedience to the black-letter words of the scripture has hardened their hearts to its spirit of doing good for those in need. As a result, these religious authorities’ zeal for strict obedience to the legal requirements of scripture causes them to ally with the secular authority of King Herod in order to kill Jesus. Mark 3:6. This alliance puts in motion the events that will lead to the Crucifixion.
For tonight’s gathering, please read Mark 2-4 and Johnson pages 162-64 “Sets of Three” and pages 170-73. Dinner is at 6. The menu is Spanish Caldo Gallego. Discussion about 6:45. Episcopalian Compline at 8. Hope to see you here and please bring a friend.
Such is the confidence that we have through Christ toward God. Not that we are competent of ourselves to claim anything as coming from us; our competence is from God, who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter of the law but of the spirit; for the letter of the law kills, but the Spirit gives life.2 Corinthians 3:5-6.