As the Advent Calendars are opened, the church changes its focus from celebrating Jesus being the King upon the throne, to long hoped for Messiah who will unexpectedly arrive in the shape of a helpless babe and laid in a manger. The church also changes its focus, giving a specific gospel more ‘air space’. This year, poetically named Year B, will focus on the gospel of Mark.
So what has Mark got to reveal to us that the other gospels don’t? Mark is believed to be the earliest gospel written within living memory. It is short and punchy, Mark dives straight into the ministry of Jesus without any of the infant stories or genealogies of the others. Mark’s is the gospel with the most drama and possibly the least description.
At our opening talk on the gospel of Mark we learned a few facts about the gospel as a whole:
- The entire gospel is a passion narrative, with increasing intensity.
- The entire gospel is a controversy story.
- The whole of Mark is one long temptation story.
- Mark’s Greek is very interesting and subtle (not ‘poor’ as others have claimed), he links passages carefully with repetitions of verbs and nouns, repeated keywords, and a large number of carefully selected, graphic words.
Throughout this year of Mark we will be studying his gospel with daily verses on twitter and Facebook, fellowship groups, sermons and an online discussion group. Join us @wallopingvicar http://www.facebook.com/thewallopingvicar or come to church!