October Congregational Letter :: Fall Sermon Series

September 29, 2014

Dear Friends,

In a few weeks the Collect for the Day will read:

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Besides being one of my favorite Collects, the words bring back memories of a particular quiet day at my seminary while I was a first-year student. Typically, quiet days followed a pattern of three meditative talks, morning, noon and late afternoon. A faculty member normally gave the talks and they served as the basis of personal reflection throughout the day. On this day, at the end of his morning reflection, the faculty member closed his talk with this Collect. A classmate of mine, newer to Anglicanism and unfamiliar with the Book of Common Prayer, understood the prayer to be an instruction that we were to read the Gospel of Mark and give careful consideration to what he had read. Three times that day the faculty member would use this Collect at the close of his talk. And, three times my classmate would go off, read the Gospel of Mark, and give consideration to what he had read. The next day when he found out that his unfamiliarity with the Collect had led to a misunderstanding he was embarrassed. I would suggest that his day, out of all of our days, was most profitably spent.

I am reminded of that Collect and that story because this fall we will begin a sermon series on the Gospel of Mark. And the Collect above offers us wise counsel on how we might approach our study of Mark (and indeed, all of Scripture). As is our custom, for 15 years now, we will preach through this book of the Bible in its entirety. The schedule of texts addressed follows below. To aid in your reading, marking, learning, and inward digestion I offer three accompanying books for your consideration;

Crossway Commentary Classics: Mark by J.C. Ryle

Mark for Everyone by N.T. Wright

Jesus the King: Understanding the Life and Death of the Son of God by Tim Keller

All three books will be available in Common Grounds at the usual discounted price.

I look forward to our time of Spirit-inspired study and prayerful consideration of God’s Word.

Yours warmly in Christ,

+Steve

 

The Gospel According to Mark

 

Jesus the King of the Kingdom

Oct 5          Mark 1.1-21
Oct 12        Mark 1.21-45
Oct 19        Mark 2.1-22
Oct 26        Mark 2.23-3

The Kingdom of Heaven

Nov 2          Mark 4.1-34
Nov 9          Mark 4.35-5.21
Nov 16        Mark 5.21-43
Nov 23        Mark 6.1-29
Nov 30        Mark 6.30-56
Dec 7          Mark 7.1-23
Dec 14        Mark 7.24-37
Dec 21        Mark 8.1-26
Dec 28        Mark 8.27-8.38

The Kingdom and the Cross

Jan 4           Mark 9.1-13
Jan 11         Mark 9.14-41
Jan 18         Mark 9.42-10.16
Jan 25         Mark 10.13-31
Feb 1          Mark 10.32-45
Feb 8          Mark 10.46-52
Feb 15        Mark 11.1-26
Feb 22        Mark 11.27-12.12
Mar 1          Mark 12.13-27
Mar 8          Mark 12.28-34
Mar 15        Mark 12.35-13.2
Mar 22        Mark 13.3-36
Mar 29        Mark 14.1-11

Jesus Inaugurates the Kingdom of God

Apr 5          EASTER
Apr 12        Mark 14.12-25
Apr 19        Mark 14.26-72
Apr 26        Mark 15.1-41
May 3         Mark 15.42-16.11
May 10       Mark 16.12-20