Dear Friends in Christ,
In this time after Pentecost, we enter into what is sometimes called “Ordinary Time”. At first glance it may seem like this is an acknowledgement that nothing special happens at this point in the Church Year. Really, it just means that from here on the Sundays, with the suggested readings are “numbered” in sequence. In the first part of the year we focus on Jesus’ life; preparation/ birth, (Advent/ Christmas) to the expansive realization of what the means for us (Epiphany), to the recognition that we resist God’s Messiah (Lent), to the Passion and Resurrection, (Holy Week), to the mind altering reality that Jesus really is risen and present (the whole Season of Easter), to the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower us for continued witness (Ascension/Pentecost).
Now, we focus on Jesus’ teaching. For the most part, these readings come in sequence of whatever Gospel we read for the year. I enjoy this part of the year because we finally get a chance to experience Mark through living in the story one part at a time. (One major exception is the Bread of Life sequence where for some reason the Lectionary decides to read John for six weeks in middle of summer.)
Mark presents Jesus as mission driven. He is in a hurry with everything happening immediately. Jesus declares that, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” We have until Advent to grow in our understanding of Jesus and seek to live into God’s new creation. The liturgical color of green suggests this growth will happen as we listen to Jesus and look to follow him. (Speaking of green, watch for a new banner to arrive in the Narthex soon.)
Pastor John Schraan