The Kingdom

This Sunday we consider the hidden but visible kingdom of God. The appointed lesson is Mark 1:14-20. 

“'The kingdom of the world is already becoming the kingdom of our Lord, and he will reign forever and ever.' It is why what we do together on Sundays is so important. Like an embassy in a land ruled by other kings, the church is an outpost of the already in the world of the not yet. And as we live lives following Christ, we are ambassador of his kingdom in this world."

The Gospel of Mark

Here at the outset, understand that for Mark’s Gospel the backstory is the story of Israel. But many modern Christians aren’t aware of this. We do not know why things were the way they were when we read this Gospel. N.T. Wright notes most of us, if we are not careful, see the Gospels in general,

“[S}imply as God’s answer to the plight of the human race in general. The backstory most of us live with hasn’t been the story of Abraham, of Moses, of David, of the prophets; it’s been the story of Adam and Eve, of “Everyman,” sinning and dying and needing to be redeemed. Israel’s story sneaks in alongside or is to be quietly left aside. It seems, after all, to be so dark— such a failure, such a disappointment. Or God’s sort of first but failed attempt to save humanity from sin."

But Israel’s backstory is so important to Mark (and the other Gospels, for that matter). As the early church came to terms with who Jesus was, they realized they could not tell his story without Israel’s story.

Looking to Epiphany

In this sermon for the Second Sunday after Christmas, our Youth Minister, Ryan Grove preaches on Jesus as a twelve year old in the Temple in Jerusalem. We consider that Jesus was a pre-teen and that God knows more about what it means to be human than we do. The appointed Gospel passage was Luke 2:41-52.