Epiphany, Gospel of Mark, Study Leave, Year B

Preaching Mark

I’ll say it here. I love the Gospel of Mark. I look forward to Year B in the lectionary cycle. (Well, maybe not the summer with all those weeks from John’s gospel, but the rest of it.) I am in tune with Mark’s Jesus who is both incredibly, fully human and also mysteriously, definitively divine without making a big fuss over it. He’s short-tempered. He’s fallible. He takes naps. He gets people to leave and go away with him forever and then goes right back with them to their mother-in-law’s house.

I love the pacing. It’s a beautifully constructed piece of writing. In seminary I took a whole semester on Mark, which is not the only reason I love it, but we read one book in particular that diagrammed the relationships of one pericope to another, and as an old English major, I adored that exercise.

JESUS MAFA — The Transfiguration

So, today’s plan for Study Leave is to look at the texts for the season of Epiphany and look for ways to make the gospel come alive in worship. As usual, I will debate whether to skip Transfiguration Sunday in favor of preaching texts from the long possible weeks after Epiphany that don’t make it onto the calendar very often, but in this case, I’ll probably decide against it, because Mark lacks a Resurrection appearance and could use a little bolstering in the woo-woo mystical department.

(And since writing this, that is in fact what I decided.)

The morning is going well, and I’ll soon be moving on to Lent.

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