Summary: Questions about the past have a way of propelling me forward. At least that’s what I experienced once on a visit to Caesarea Maritima as I stared toward the sun sinking down toward the vast Mediterranean Sea. Knowing how we got somewhere is one thing; where we will go next is not so different a question. The vocations we chase after never end; nor do our attempts to make sense of them and their effects on our lives. I think this is one way that faith works and continues to disrupt and comfort our lives, by giving us the nudge to keep journeying and to keep our sights set on a future that exists–out there, yet to be discovered.
I wrote this meditative article for the publication Thin Places, which offers resources for spiritual growth and is published by Westminster Presbyterian Church of Minneapolis. The article appears in the June/July/August 2021 issue (Issue Number 107). Read the full article at Thin Places.
Stick Around (Mark 3:20-35)
Summary: Once Jesus’ ministry is rolling in the Gospel according to Mark, conflict emerges and dividing lines are drawn. Mark has a way with surprises; Jesus’ own family and religious authorities misunderstand who he is and what he is up to. But crowds of unnamed people remain with him, often doing little more than showing up and following. Jesus appears to welcome their presence, as seen in this scene when he describes a crowd as his true kin and commends them for doing “the will of God.” It appears Jesus is not calling for heroism or perfection. Rather, he seeks recognition. Down the road in Mark he will remind us that discipleship calls for our whole selves. But at this point in the story, being present and sticking around is what he’s looking for. This is good news for all of us, reminding us that faith is not so much about subscribing to doctrine and more about attaching oneself to Jesus and his efforts to bring the reign of God to fruition.
I wrote this article for those preparing to preach or hear sermons on Mark 3:20-35. It was originally a contribution to the “Dear Working Preacher” series. Read the full article at Working Preacher.
Bible commentary: general audience
discipleship family following gospel of mark inclusion insiders jesus kingdom of god scribes will of God