Tuesday, February 28, 2006

My Lectionary Leanings for Today

Genesis 9:8-17_Psalm 25:1-10 _1 Peter 3:18-22 _Mark 1:9-15

Could this be one of those famous Markan Sandwiches? If so, then the bread is the Baptism and the Proclamation and the filling is the temptation.

Baptism -- water and the Spirit (what you hear over and over again in Methodist circles....)
Jesus starts the journey from Galilee to Judea -- foreshadowing the movement of his ministry later in the Gospel.

“let himself be Baptized” – passive action by Jesus. But immediately as he comes up out of the water the skies are torn apart.

HE saw, not they saw. Private vision.

"torn apart" -- Greek schizo -- used only twice, once here in Mark and once to describe the tearing of the veil (Mark 15:38) -- apocalyptic images look also at Ezek 1:1 and Isaiah 64:1. Both times a violent action – a tearing of the boundary between heaven and earth.

Dove = spirit = dove of the Noah story = also Jonah means "dove" -- could be synchronistic with Greek mythology and auguries done with birds. Does it mean it looks like a Dove or that it lights and perches like a Dove?

“YOU are my son, the Beloved” – not “This is my son” – private vision? – Beloved meaning more like “Chosen” – when the voice speaks again, it is to all present in Mark (Transfiguration)
Spoken last in Mark by the Centurion “Sure this was…” This phrase here, echoes the Coronation songs of Ancient Israel – cmp. Psalm 2

IMMEDIATELY drove Jesus to the wilderness (from the order of the Spirit hovering over the waters of the deep to Chaos – the void) No gentle “guidance” here, but his is impelled to go. Jolted, even. Used other places in Mark in exorcisms. Leaves a sense of Jesus almost being a victim. Left order for Chaos for 40 days – parallel to the 40 years of Moses in the Wilderness or the 40 days of destruction by water with Noah. Prologue starts in the Wilderness – ends in the Wilderness – Mark ends with a Wilderness of the Spirit as the women stumble from the tomb terrified.

Testing by the Accuser – like the testing later done by the Pharisees and finally in the Garden.

Wild Beasts – echoes of Psalm 91:11-13 "For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot." Esp. when read over and against the other temptation stories. Maybe the wild beasts are really people? Or maybe the wild beasts are a part of Jesus himself?

"good news": The Greek word euangelion – both OF God and BY God

Good News both is a description and the content of the passage – euangelion used twice.

Tense – is beging fulfilled – continual action. Stretches in to the past and future. The time is here, the time is now. Now is the moment ripe.

Verse 15 is a synopsis of the entire message of Mark.

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