A Summer in the Gospel of Mark – Words of Grace – May 31, 2024

A Summer in the Gospel of Mark – Words of Grace – May 31, 2024

For several years I was overly ambitious about a summer reading plan. I recall packing more than one book to take with me on vacations and mission trips. After a few years of lugging books around that I never got around to reading, I changed my ways.

I have learned to be more realistic about what I will read, which has led to being less discouraged about what I don’t read.

The same is true about Bible reading. I have set goals to read large portions of the Bible in short periods of time. This approach is helpful at times. But the summer months seem to be suited for a slower, more reflective time of reading.

This summer, I plan to immerse myself in the Gospel of Mark, and I invite you to join me.

Why read Mark. 
The summer sermon series will be on discipleship. Discipleship is the term we use to refer to our lives of following Jesus Christ in love, loyalty, and mission. It is our response to the high calling of Christ.

The Gospel of Mark is a manual for discipleship. It will be our guide for the sermon series. The benefit of reading the passages we will hear on Sunday throughout the week is great. This summer, think about combining your personal reading with the sermon series by reading Mark.

How to read Mark.
Mark is not a long book. I suggest you start by reading it straight through at least once.

Next, divide up the chapters and read shorter portions each week over the summer. Since there are three main sections in Mark (1:1-8:21; 8:22-10:52; 11:1-16:20), you may want to focus on one section for three weeks, finishing in nine weeks.

Then, read it again straight through. You will be amazed about how much more you see the second time through when you’ve read portions of it over several weeks.

If you are in a small group this summer, read portions of Mark together and have some conversations about discipleship.

The point is to read Mark in a way that allows you to take in the message in a thoughtful and prayerful way.

What to look for in Mark.
There are three big themes to consider as you read Mark.

Consider Jesus. As you read, look for how Jesus is revealed. What is his nature and character? What does he say and do? How does he relate to people?

Consider discipleship. Who follows Jesus in Mark? What does Jesus say is involved in following him?

Consider yourself. Imagine yourself standing before Jesus, watching what he does, listening to his words, and being called by him to follow. What would that mean for you? What impact would that have on your life in specific ways?

Join me this summer in prayer along with reading Mark. Ask the Lord to renew our love and loyalty to Christ as his disciples. Pray for people to hear his voice and follow him for the first time. Pray for our Sunday gatherings around the word of God in the Gospel of Mark.