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Mark 1:1 Good News in action

May 19, 2008

“This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.”

And with that simple statement a new genre of literature is born; the Gospel. Mark’s gospel is generally considered to be the first canonical gospel and the one that set the standard, provided lots of material for the other gospels, and in fact introduced a whole new genre to the world. 

I love Mark’s gospel. It is fast paced. It is to the point, unembellished. It is short and sweet. It is packed with action, with Jesus DOING lots of things. (The other gospels emphasize more of Jesus teaching whereas Mark emphasizes action.) It is written by John Mark, a close associate of Peter and mentoree (and relative) of Barnabas, one of my heros. 

The good news. Is my life characterized by and reflective of this fundamental category that is used over and over in conjunction with Jesus: He proclaimed and in fact embodied ‘good news.’ Could that be said of me? How can that become more of what characterizes my life and the life of the community I love and lead?

+++ Lord, help me to be good news today and live from the abundant life that you experience at all times in community as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen. +++ 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Rambo permalink
    May 20, 2008 8:16 pm

    Thanks for staying true to form and dropping not only knowledge on us but your connectiveness with other more recognizable names…You are the Zen Master, Jedi-esque name dropper of all the folks who run in my circle.

    Carter’s moving to San Diego where it’s warm and I’m sitting here on May 20th and its RAINING!!!!! Holy Crap!

    I’m better now…

  2. chris permalink
    May 20, 2008 8:34 pm

    Hi Kevin,

    First off i think you’re a great man and an equally great teacher. But… (just kidding, there’s no but..:)

    Here are some thoughts/ ramblings that your last couple posts brought to mind:

    Creatively leading, confessing and truth telling as the hard work of small groups meeting once a week or to any group trying to forcibly advance the Kingdom is critical in my opinion. I point these issues out in part because most of us live in polite society. Again, In my opinion politeness is so often a bad/ cheap/ conventional replacement for love and authenticity. How can we have authentic relationships with out at least things getting a little messy? Some of the most polite people i know have simply isolated themselves from real engagement. Affording the same narrow glimpse into their life day after day (at work) and/or week after week (at church).

    Leadership should say what they do and do what they say. Leadership makes key decisions when confusion or indifference define the group. They should also expect the spiritual gifting of thick skin (oh its in there… look it up) to handle real doubts about their leadership. If god handles our questioning him we should be game to handle questioning from each other… i think. We as a group should name leadership for what it is by finding it amongst ourselves. if when we find leadership and it has been named something else. we should be open to a name change (this process of discovering your leaders is maybe the hardest part?). At least part of the truth about leadership is that it produces more leaders. So that’s at least one good indicator to look for. And also it should be considered what to do with newly discovered leaders. It makes sense to consider if it’s true that leadership breeds leadership. And since we are existing for others its likely that true leadership resigns to leadership. You can’t give what you don’t have. So if you’re in the leader breeding business… you should look to give up your business at some point.

    i like these quotes about leadership (leaders)

    “I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.”
    -Henry Ford

    “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.”
    — Theodore Roosevelt,
    ( I think Mr. Roosevelt should have talked to more women, still a good quote)

    confession: tough one. i don’t think we (the royal we) do it…. or if we do I haven’t seen it in meaningful and redemptive enough ways to make a difference in the way i confess (privately/ silently with god or of course a traditional liturgy reading that states a crystallized, static confession of someone else). Leadership in this area is very challenging and messy. uncomfortable to say the least. A contextualized confession is maybe the masters level? An idea is that when I confess i give people an opportunity to forgive?

    People desperately need others who love them enough to tell them the truth. Knowledge being restrained by love. Love having the priority. Truth is freedom. For instance, the truth is you don’t need a 401K, health insurance, a car, retirement savings, a house you own, etc…. I mean those listed are or can be good things. I want and have most of those things (well not really but most people seem to want those things). in fact i want the other half of the world (the two dollar a day people) to have those things more. Take them or leave them the truth is we don’t need them. My point is that stripping down our groups to the essentials is essential. At least in conversation. A good place to start is asking a question like. why don’t we give one of our houses to someone outside of our group? I suppose it’s just an exercise to help find out what is separating the group from itself and separating it from the outside world to which these small groups are supposed to exist for….

    a couple of other thoughts…. The economic conversion should be had. when people start getting their heads around the truth that business is so much more than just business the sooner we’ll get around to learning how to share. I mean that’s what all the fuss is about. there is a big dilemma in the world. Just pick up a economics text book. We can’t figure out how to share well (power). And if that is what God does (share power) we also must. To whom much is given much is expected (translation: if you have a lot of power you are expected to share a lot of power)

    Peace,

    Chris

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