In a couple of weeks I will be giving the Bible Studies at the UCA Synod of Victoria and Tasmania. The theme of the Synod is 'Living God's Transforming Story' (one of those titles that has every evidence of being the result of the deliberations of a committee). However, for some reason it was good enough to prompt me to take a look at Mark's gospel. Here is what I have come up with for the 4 studies:
The Ingredients of Transformation – A Day in the Life
The aim of the four studies is to take 4
episodes from Mark’s account of the initial 24 hours of Jesus’ public ministry,
and through an exploration of these dramatic scenarios, to consider the
necessary ingredients of a transformation that takes its cue from the good news
that in Jesus, the reign of God has broken into the reality of this world.
Title: Kingdom Proclamation: Mark 1.14-15
transformation occurs when action is interpreted by proclamation and when the
reality of this world is named as the arena in which God’s rule can be known. A
transforming church must give attention to its ability to name God in the world
in a way that bears witness to what God has done in Jesus Christ.
Kingdom Invitation: Mark 1.16-20
transformation occurs when a new possibility is offered for life in the world.
A transforming church must give attention to its ability to continually offer
to the world a persuasive invitation to join the revolution that begins as
Jesus calls his first followers.
Kingdom Confrontation: Mark 1.21-28
transformation occurs when there is clarity about what must be resisted in the
light of God’s intended rule. A transforming church must give attention to how
it names and resists evil as a way of making a space and creating a silence in
which truth can be heard and seen.
Kingdom Restoration: Mark 1.29-45
transformation occurs when those who have heard and responded to the good news,
and who have learned what must be resisted in the light of it, commit
themselves to practices that bring the rule of God into direct contact with the
reality of human need. A transforming church must give attention to the
ministry of healing as an urgent priority.
I am looking forward to preparing and writing the studies. On top of the stack of books on Mark is Joel Marcus' fine Anchor Bible commentary.