This is the beginning of the fourteenth year of writing here. Actually, yesterday’s prayer was the beginning.
I started this blog by writing through the book of Matthew, interacting with the text with as much clarity as I could bring, and with exactly 300 words.
Since then, I’ve been less rigorous with the wordcount, and have been less focused on a specific text. Together, we’ve talked and walked through a lot of life (and death).
This year, I want to write in that old way through the book of Mark.
It’s a very different book than Matthew. Matthew feels scholarly, rooted in an understanding of Jewish history and heritage. It’s a very different book than Luke. Luke feels like a careful gathering of materials and interviewing witnesses and then telling the story of Jesus woven from those detail. It’s a very different book than John, which focuses the last lectures of Jesus, on expanded versions of a few people around Jesus.
Mark is shorter, punchier.
As I was reading in Mark on Saturday morning, I was thinking about Peter who has a lot of impulsive speaking roles in the Gospels and Acts and a couple letters. Tradition holds that Mark contains Peter’s notes of the story of Jesus. Less philosophical than John, less journalistic than Luke, less teaching than Matthew (think Sermon on the Mount, for example).
True confession? I feel like I haven’t done sustained thinking and writing. And for understandable reasons. There’s been a pandemic and I’ve been working in healthcare and aware of unclear thinking by others. I would rather write lists of the 4 books I found most helpful last year, and the podcasts I’ve been listening to, and other things.
But I think that we both might benefit from talking with, and listening to Mark.