I have heard Christians and others say, "we need to take back America." I find that odd since we do not have any evidence that non Americans voted in the last presidential election. But I digress. I personally think we might do better if we took back the Gospel--back from what we have created it to be. Somewhere along the line it seems we have created the Gospel in the image of our culture. We need to rediscover the Gospel.
And so, I am going to begin to look at the Gospel. First through the eyes of Mark--shortest of the Gospels and also, the lectionary is focusing on Mark this year.
At first glance, in a quick read through, Mark portrays a Jesus who has drunk one too many energy drinks. The various translations seem to use the terms "suddenly" and "immediately" over and over again. Jesus is always on the move. There is no catching your breath. Some argue the roughness of this Gospel may indicate this being the first Gospel written, despite tradition saying Matthew was the first written.
But I wonder if it doesn't give us a glimpse into how the disciples felt. The Gospel of John may give us the glimpse into the close relationship between Jesus and the disciples. But I can't help but think Mark captures what it was like to follow Jesus. Listening to Jesus teach with authority, I would want to sit back and ponder his words or maybe discuss it amongst my friends. But the disciples don't seem to have that luxury. Jesus is off and casting out an unclean spirit. I would like to stop and take that in, process what I have just witnessed. But there's no time, Jesus is healing someone. I get the picture from C.S. Lewis' The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where Aslan is in the witch's castle freeing all the Narnians from their stone prisons. Lucy and Susan cannot keep up as Aslan is bring these creatures back to life. The disciples cannot keep up with Jesus as he spreads the Good News--God is rescuing Creation, bringing us back to life.