Lately I’ve been thinking about Mark, mainly because I just contributed a post on Mark for Credo magazine. After writing the post, it occurred to me that what I was seeing in Mark is a huge reason for thanksgiving. As you may have guessed, Mark has nothing to say about turkey and all the trimmings. In fact, although Mark directly mentions giving thanks only a few times, his story of Jesus gives us a profound reason for thanksgiving. In the USA the Thanksgiving holiday is November 28 this year, but Mark’s message gives us something to be thankful for every day of the year. God does not give up on flawed followers of Jesus, and neither should we.
I’m thankful that the Bible isn’t hagiography, an idealistic, even idolizing way of telling a story in which the heroes and heroines are scrubbed clean of mistakes and weaknesses. Just about any biblical character of note, except Jesus, has both good and bad moments in the scriptural story. Remember how Peter, the church’s foundational rock, quickly becomes a stone of stumbling to Jesus (Matt 16:22-23)? The Bible doesn’t sugarcoat the saints. Why is this?
After working mainly with Matthew through the years, it was great to participate with 30 scholars in a project on Mark. Ben Blackwell, John Goodrich, and Jason Maston edited this book, which concisely explains Mark by comparing and contrasting it with relevant passages from Jewish literature of the Second Temple period. That’s what reading Mark […]