Walking Together

2 Kings 2:1-12 | Psalm 50:1-6 | 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 | Mark 9:2-9

Jeremy Richards

The book Gilead by Marilyn Robinson is a fictional account of the life of the Congregationalist Minister John Ames. The book is written as a series of letters from the old John Ames to his young 7-year-old son. Ames, who had the child late in his life, knows he will soon die of a heart condition and won’t be there for most of his son’s life. The letters are an attempt to put down in writing the important family stories and life lessons Ames has learned over the course of his long life, since he’ll be unable to convey these lessons and stories to his son after he dies.

Hunting Jesus Down

Isaiah 40:21-31 | Psalm 147:1-11, 20c | 1 Corinthians 9:16-23 | Mark 1:29-39

Jeremy Richards

Our Gospel reading today picks up right after our Gospel reading from last week, which, if you weren’t here or you don’t remember, was about Jesus preaching in a synagogue and then casting out a demon. These two passages – the one from last week and the one for today – cover one 24-hour period of time.

Freedom from the Demonic

Deuteronomy 18:15-20 | Psalm 111 | 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 | Mark 1:21-28

Jeremy Richards

The New Testament scholar Joel Marcus (one of Mitch’s favorite professors in seminary) says in his commentary on Mark that every Gospel writer has a story early in their Gospel that is meant to set the stage for what they want to say about Jesus. According to Joel Marcus, in Matthew it’s the Sermon on the Mount, in Luke it’s Jesus’ sermon in the synagogue in Nazareth, and in John it’s the wedding feast in Cana. And in Mark, Joel Marcus says, it’s the story we read today.

A Light in the Darkness

Isaiah 60:1-6 | Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14 | Ephesians 3:1-12 | Matthew 2:1-12

Jeremy Richards

This Sunday marks a new season in the Church Calendar. Advent and Christmas have given way to the season of Epiphany. The season of Epiphany focuses on two themes: the identity of Jesus as the Messiah (or Christ) and the inclusion of the Gentiles in the story of Israel. Or, to put the two together: Jesus’ fulfillment of the Jewish Scriptures and prophecies, and that fulfillment including an invitation to all peoples, not just Israel.