By Travis J. Scholl This week and next week (Proper 17) make up a continuous reading of Mark 7. (Technically, Proper 18 brings the reading of Mark 7 to a close, but there is a thematic and geographic shift that separates it from Propers 16 and 17.) If we were to treat these two readings ..
By Travis J. Scholl Here we are at the first week of July—Fourth of July weekend no less!—and the Gospel of Mark gives us no “summer vacation” from its cruciform sense of faith, discipleship, and the way of Christ. In this text (a continuation of last week’s Gospel text from Mark 5), Jesus has returned ..
By Travis J. Scholl As seems the case every time we encounter a pericope from the Gospel of Mark, we can start by noticing what is not there. The “Palm Sunday” in Mark isn’t triumphal, at least not with the same sense of triumph that we find in the other gospels. But Mark does give ..
By Travis J. Scholl This second Gospel reading in the season of Lent begins with a significant geographic border-crossing. Jesus has left the friendlier confines of Galilee, heading north to Caesarea Philippi. The name itself suggests the heavy hand of the Roman Empire, and the city was a significant site of pagan worship. Jesus has ..
By Travis J. Scholl This is the second time in this liturgical year we have encountered Mark’s account of Jesus’ baptism by John. The first was on the Baptism of our Lord, January 11. There, the baptism ends the pericope, preceded by John the baptizer’s ministry in the wilderness. Here, it prefaces Jesus’ own journey ..
By Travis J. Scholl Is there any better way to preach on the last Sunday of the church year than to preach Christ “raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (v. 20)? This pericope falls in the middle of Paul’s great resurrection chapter. What precedes it is his theological ..
By Travis J. Scholl “Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers and sisters, you do not need to have anything written to you” (v. 1). Indeed, we do not need to be told that our world is in crisis. Global and local events cascade into a rapid succession of actions and reactions. Some of ..