“Let’s do a public community reading of Mark’s gospel!”
“Oh yeah!” I thought. “Who’s going to come?”
So 40 people aged from 7 to 90 gathered on a hot Sunday evening for our first public community reading of Mark’s gospel. It took 90 minutes, three narrators, and about 12 voices to read various characters. (For some reason I was allocated the voices of the unclean spirits and Judas!)
By the time the women fled the open tomb (we used Mark’s short ending), several observations could be made:
- the event had a strong effect on all gathered , from youngest to oldest – some commented that they had come to appreciate Mark’s gospel in a new light
- although Mark is an action gospel, Jesus still had plenty to say – lots of “red letter” words.
- Mark’s gospel has a continuity of narrative that is easily missed through a habitual selective focus on its many vignettes.
- Immersion in a total public reading of the gospel leads to a sense of participation in the flow of the narrative.
Some will wonder whether this non-analytical approach short changed us. No worries – internationally renowned New Testament scholar, Professor William (Bill) Loader will be conducting a series on Mark’s gospel over the weeks between now and Easter. We combine with the Wembley Downs Uniting Church who will be hosting the series. The topics are:
26 February – “Good News” according to Mark – what does salvation and faith and eternal life look like in Mark – in comparison with others?
4 March – Mark on Scripture – looking at the controversy stories and how they reflect different approaches to Scripture.
11 March – An evening with Herod the Great: Sex and Power in the world of Jesus and Mark (a lot of fun as well as informative)
18 March – Mark on Miracles – looking at the problems and possibilities posed by miracle stories for Mark and other NT writers.
25 March – Mark on being human and being God – looking at the conflicting models of humanness, Jesus and God between Jesus and the disciples.
Should be fun!
2 thoughts on “Markathon!”
Wonderful idea, WonderingPilgrim. I’ll bet each person came away from the reading with new revelations and perspectives.
Yes, Kate, the feedback is still coming in. It has been really focusing for the Lent journey that begins today.