This week I’ve been in a block teaching module called Preaching From the Synoptics.
It’s been a great, if long and somewhat intense, couple of days looking at some of the background of Matthew, Mark and Luke’s Gospels with a particular eye on how this might influence the decisions which we have to make when we plan a sermon.
At the end of the first afternoon we did a workshop exercise together called ‘Ten to Two’.
The premise was simple.
We would have ten minutes to pick a point from Mark 13 (which we had just been discussing) and plan a two minute reflection on it. However it had to be in keeping with the rest of the chapter. That is, we couldn’t just pick the word ‘temple’ and talk about Churches etc.
This was more than just a creative writing exercise as we then each took it in turns to present our reflections to the group! It was truly fascinating to get a glimpse at the sheer variety of ways that people could engage with the passage and of the wealth of approaches and methods we might take. Some presentations were profound, others inspiring and some were even quite funny. Mine, well I’m not quite sure how I would categorise mine. Perhaps as a mix between the imagery of Mark 13 and the Lord of the Rings?
Let me know what you think in the comments below; either about my reflection or of anything which has stood out for you from mark 13 before.
The Son of Man will come with Glory
There will be death,
A shadow of despair shall permeate the land.
The temple will fall. Families will breakdown and the sound of singing will become as a forgotten memory – belonging more properly to the legends of old.
“When will this happen?” They asked.
Jesus casts his eyes down at the still standing temple and replies almost wistfully…
Many will come claiming that they are the messiah…
They will walk in the darkness with strips of cloth bound across their eyes.
They will shout loudly, but their voices shall be muffled in the tepid air.
Yet more will come…
Ones with their own vain promises,
others with foolish desires and ambition.
But when the Son of Man comes…
When the Son of Man comes he shall come with great power and glory on the clouds.
And the dawn shall break forth on a new day; shedding the shadows of Death, dispelling the fears of the hopeless. There will be such a light as has never been seen while the birds start to sing when the Son of Man returns to what is his.
Stephen Motyer has written a great book on the return of Christ which actually examines Mark 13 in detail. Read my review if you’re interested to know more.