October 8, 2014 Preaching the Gospel According to Mark through Year B Preaching
“He comes to us as one unknown,” wrote Albert Schweitzer about Jesus, more than a century ago. Clearly, Schweitzer had been reading a lot of the Gospel according to Mark. This Gospel portrays Jesus as an enigma. His followers struggle to figure out how to respond to him. It appears Mark would rather show Jesus to us than tell us clearly who he is. Mark does not give us a theological guidebook; the Gospel prefers to draw people into a living encounter with Jesus the Christ. To borrow Schweitzer’s words again, through “an ineffable mystery,” we who endeavor to follow Jesus “shall learn in [our] own experience who he is.” That’s the implied, and sometimes unsettling, promise of Mark’s Gospel.
Spend an afternoon re-acquainting yourself with Mark, its air of secrecy, its emphasis on the oppression people suffer, its bumbling disciples, its cast of strangers who express faith in inexplicable ways and its challenging invitation to follow Jesus on the way of discipleship. We will consider how a year’s worth of lectionary-guided sermons and educational opportunities can bring this Gospel to life, giving people a fresh encounter with the Jesus to whom it still bears witness.
Contact Hours: 3.5
Class Times: 1:30-5 p.m.
- Matthew Skinner, Associate Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary