Mark tells the story of a man who comes to Jesus with a problem. Jesus’ solution requires prayer, but where is the prayer? All we hear is an admission of what the man lacks. Is that even a prayer?
Luke chapter 2 gives us little detail about Mary and Joseph’s entrance into Bethlehem. But every Gospel tells us about Jesus’ Triumphal Entrance into Jerusalem. Both stories point to our greatest hope: The King is Coming!
Palm Sunday is Often Frustrating for Me
I’m confessing my frustration as a preacher here. I find Palm Sunday to be a pain to preach! In fact, I would go so far as to say that Palm Sunday represents everything that frustrates me about preaching on any Christian holiday/holy day. Every year, it’s the same story that everyone has heard for two thousand years, but you’re expected to find something new!
It’s difficult enough on Christmas and Easter, but at least with those holidays you’ve got culture on your side. When was the last time you walked into Walmart and thought, “UGH! They’ve got the Palm Sunday decorations up already? It’s not even Three Kings Sunday yet!” People are already thinking about Christmas and Easter. Palm Sunday just shows up and smacks us all in the face with a palm branch.
And all you’re left thinking, “Huh . . . Is Easter next Sunday?!?”Continue reading
Matthew’s Gospel tells us of the Magi. Luke tells us of shepherds and angels. John tells us about Jesus’ eternal nature. But Mark? Why would anyone go to Mark for Christmas? Because Mark tells us about the King!
Christmas in the Gospel of Mark
I’ve been preaching for, more or less, 33 years (one whole Jesus). That’s over a month of Christmases and a whole season of Advent seasons. I’ve preached angels, shepherds, wise men, Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth, and even Rahab, Ruth, and Bathsheba. My Navidad has been fully feliz’d.
But I’ve never preached Mark for Christmas. And for good reason, really. It’s just not there! Mark is either short on time or paper. He gives us no angels with announcements, no virgin with child, no gold, frankincense or myrrh. Mark jumps right in at Jesus’ baptism and the start of his ministry. From verse one, Mark tells us what he’s writing about. “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
Mark is writing about the King.Continue reading