Category Archives: Chapter-a-Day

Chapter-a-Day Mark 16

He said, "Don’t be afraid. I know you’re looking for Jesus the Nazarene, the One they nailed on the cross. He’s been raised up; he’s here no longer. You can see for yourselves that the place is empty. Now–on your way. Mark 16:6-7 (TM)

When I was in Israel I went to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jesrusalem where the traditional garden tomb is, itself, entombed in a massive medeival structure. I did the tourist thing and waited in line before crawling into the tiny rock tomb. There was a woman there on her face weeping and wailing before the tomb – until her cell phone rang. She stood up and immediately answered the phone normally, as if she were standing in line at the grocery store. She spoke for a moment, ended the call and fell back onto her face wailing once more.

I like the angel’s words to the Marys. "The place is empty – no on your way." God does not want us wasting time manufacturing emotions like tourists at "holy" sites. The message of the empty tomb is the exact opposite: "He’s ALIVE! GO! Stop worshipping the grave and spread His Message to the living."

Chapter-a-Day Mark 15

Pilate asked again, "Aren’t you going to answer anything? That’s quite a list of accusations." Still, he said nothing. Pilate was impressed, really impressed. Mark 15:4-5 (TM)

As I was reading through Matthew and Mark these past weeks, it strikes me that there is a theme that runs consistently through these biographies: there was something about Jesus that people sensed when they were around him. Pilate was impressed enough in Jesus to go out of his way to try and release him, even when Jesus just stood there silent. The crowds sensed something different in him, far different than the other teachers of the law and rabbis. His own enemies readily admitted to his face that he was a person of integrity, not pandering to his followers or caring about public opinion.

It makes me think about what others sense when they are around me. Do they sense the presence of God? Do they, though they can’t put a finger on it, sense something different? I would hope so. I would hope that they would smell the aroma of Christ, as Paul puts it.

I hope to positively stink with God’s love today.

Chapter-a-Day Mark 14

A young man was following along. All he had on was a bedsheet. Some of the men grabbed him but he got away, running off naked, leaving them holding the sheet. Mark 14:51-52 (TM)

Tradition says that this streaker was a young John Mark, the author of the Gospel of Mark. It’s one of those little trivial details in scripture and it gave me a chuckle this morning. It’s a "guy" thing, I guess. I would have to imagine that it wasn’t funny at the time, but I’d dare to bet that after the joy of the resurrection settled in and the terror of that night faded, Peter and the boys gave him a lot of friendly ribbing about it. We tend to think of the apostles as these serious, hyper-spiritualized icons. Come on, these were salt-of-the-earth fishermen and worldly-wise guys. You know they would have had a good laugh thinking about Mark, butt naked – trying to make his way home.

Chapter-a-Day Mark 13

Jesus said, "You’re impressed by this grandiose architecture? There’s not a stone in the whole works that is not going to end up in a heap of rubble." Mark 13:2 (TM)

TemplelowresI had the privilege of standing at the temple mount a few years ago. I stood at the base of the mount, next to the foundation stones – all that was left of the temple. I also saw a model of what it looked like (see picture), and it was impressive as the disciples commented. It strikes me that Jesus came, not just to build up, but to also tear down. I wonder – what grandiose works of modern man would he dismiss as nothing but kindling for the refining fire?

Chapter-a-Day Mark 11

That’s why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you’ll get God’s everything. Mark 11:24

Sometimes it’s hard for me not to think of God like a stern parent, withholding good from me with a "because I said so!" Yet, Jesus reveals a generous heavenly Father who urges us to bring the smallest of matters to him – to embrace Him and the life He gives us. I believe that we have no clue how willing our Father is to move heaven and earth on our behalf.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Chapter-a-Day Mark 10

In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road. Mark 10:52 (TM)

I’ve noticed that there’s a correlation between an individuals faith and the amount  of crap from which Jesus has delivered him/her. Blind Bart received sight and immediately followed Jesus. People who know the pain and blindness that comes with living deep in sin have an equal depth in their gratitude and commitment to Jesus.

Technorati Tags: , ,

Chapter-a-Day Mark 10

In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road. Mark 10:52 (TM)

I’ve noticed that there’s a correlation between an individuals faith and the amount  of crap from which Jesus has delivered him/her. Blind Bart received sight and immediately followed Jesus. People who know the pain and blindness that comes with living deep in sin have an equal depth in their gratitude and commitment to Jesus.

Technorati Tags: , ,