Mark’s gospel challenge – day 2

I woke up early this morning and was keen to get back to Mark’s gospel. I had found that doing the picture yesterday helped me to remember the first 3 chapters. So I did some reading with my morning cuppa. When I got down to my mid-day prayer and painting time I had a fair idea of how to tackle the next 3 chapters. However, actually painting it was another matter. I see things in my mind’s eye but don’t quite have the artistic talent to pull it off in the time I have available. In the end I managed what you see. It isn’t quite finished. I thought I’d got to the end of chapter 5 but then turned the page and saw I still had the healing of the woman and raising of Jairus’ daughter to fit in. So out came the white acrylic paint to cover up what I’d written in the bottom right corner of the page.

It isn’t the best art work I’ve ever done. But it is serving the purpose of providing an overview of the gospel. As Lent progresses I will probably go back over the pages with more detail as I continue to pray through my reading of the gospel. Although the Live Lent challenge was to read it over this week, I would still like to spend the whole of Lent with the gospel and go deeper.

Mark Chapters 4 & 5 – not yet finished

This is the Live Lent bible reading and reflection:

Bible reading – Matthew 13.34-35 (NIV)Jesus spoke all these things to the crowd in parables; he did not say anything to them without using a parable. So was fulfilled what was spoken through the prophet:

“I will open my mouth in parables,
    I will utter things hidden since the creation of the world.”
Reflection Jesus was a master storyteller. In the synoptic Gospels he is recorded as telling 35 stories, called ‘parables’. Many of these – the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son – are still well known by many people who otherwise have little knowledge of Christianity. But why did Jesus choose to communicate through parables? Perhaps because the Christian message is not so much a series of propositions to receive in the mind, important though that is, but a new story to be engaged in the imagination.

As Hannah Steele writes in Living His Story: “If evangelism is first and foremost an invitation to enter into God’s story then the parables can help us picture what it means to enter into and receive this new kingdom. Parables can provide us with a precious window into this alternative way of being in the world, revealing the extraordinary through the ordinary.”
We will look at some of these parables this week.

I am reminded of the wooden sculpture in the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, near to where I live:

Sculpture at National Arboretum

This photo was taken by my husband when we visited the chapel at the arboretum. Where in it are you? At Jesus feet? Looking on at a distance? Or walking away? His parables are important in our discipleship. If you are puzzled by a parable, pray and ask Jesus to speak to you about what it means for you and your life as a Christian. Many people didn’t understand his parables, but he did explain them to his disciples, privately.

I hope your Lent is going well. I would be interested in knowing how you are observing it.

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