Summary: When a conversation between Jesus and a group of scribes and Pharisees moves from hand washing to the dangers of moral impurity, preachers have an opportunity to explore the capacity each of us has for doing harm to others. During our current journey with the Covid-19 pandemic, we are already well acquainted with the ways in which the actions or inactions of individuals can have widespread negative consequences. But preachers can find ways to put this Gospel text into conversation with our circumstances to help a congregation see the ways in which our existence and wellbeing are corporate, collective things. Facing the realities of our interdependence and the obligations we have to one another is an important step toward fostering a community that takes healing seriously.
I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23. It was originally a contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.
The Story of the Rich Man Is… A Gift to Preachers? (Mark 10:17-31)
Summary: It’s a difficult passage to read and to preach, this story of a rich man’s’ encounter with Jesus. Consistent with much of Mark’s portrait of discipleship, it speaks about extraordinary self-giving. At the same time, it is an unusual text, with Jesus making discipleship look close to impossible. To preach a passage like this, a preacher does well to consider their role and the sermon’s goals. As for the role, a preacher should approach this text as a co-traveler alongside the congregation. As for the sermon’s goals, it’s best to find creative ways to translate the passage’s discussion of radical solidarity with the poor into contemporary terms. That is not to diminish the passage’s demands; it is to help us think about how much we need each other to walk the road of discipleship together.
I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Mark 10:17-31. It was originally a contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.
Bible commentary: preachers & teachers workingpreacher.org commentary
economy gospel of mark jesus poverty preaching rich man solidarity wealth