Wesley Bolden - November 19, 2023
Shock and Horror
From Series: "Surprised by Love (Gospel of Mark)"
Widely regarded as the earliest of the gospels in the Christian Scriptures, and one on which other authors based their own accounts, Mark tells a brief, fast-paced and intriguing account of the life of Jesus of Nazareth. While as we readers we are immediately let into the Messianic nature of Jesus’ identity, he seems intent on keeping it a secret, and even his closest followers seem confused in their misunderstanding. The evidence seems so obvious, but even as Jesus’ identity is finally revealed, there is a huge plot twist in which Jesus turns the whole concept of messiahship on its head. The messianic way of Jesus is not one of power, control, or triumphalism, but one of sacrificial love where his followers, like him, are willing to suffer for the sake of others so that healing and new life may come. With a cliffhanger ending where all we see is an empty tomb, we are all invited into the challenge to vulnerably follow Jesus into this radical way of living. During this series we’ll explore these themes by reading the text, exploring the background, and seeking out the intent of the author for the original readers. By reflecting on the stories, we’ll wrestle with their meanings for us today, and determine how we can most faithfully live them out. Part 1 of this series begins on Sunday October 8 for five weeks, and we’ll come back to part 2 early next year.