Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Repost: Devotional from Mark

Greetings, here is another post from my past... a devotional I wrote while in Enid, OK.

I’ve been teaching the high school class at church lessons from the Gospel of Mark. Mark is a great book and is full of great lessons from the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Two weeks ago, I faced a big challenge on how to present chapter 13 of Mark. The chapter contains teachings on the second coming of Christ, the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and signs of “the end of the age”. That is some pretty weighty stuff for teenagers. When I was in high school, some of my biggest concerns included facial blemishes, pre-calculus homework and what I would do at prom (this boy can’t dance). So I wrestled a bit with how to present a lesson on Mark 13 to teens. But I did it. Now, here I am, two weeks later, again faced with a tough problem: Mark 15. This is the story of Jesus’ trial before Pilate and his subsequent death on the cross. You may think that this is an easy story to teach. “Come on, Jeff!” you may say. “This is the easiest story in the world to tell.” After all, it is the basis of our hope, it is the central story of Christianity, we hear it all the time in sermons, everybody knows this story. And that is precisely the problem. How do I present this story to my students and help it to be significant? That is not to say that it is not significant all on its own, but sometimes, familiarity with something tends to make it less significant. For instance, have you ever noticed that the period is missing after the Dr in the Dr Pepper logo? It is so common as to be unnoticed. I wanted this story to be so important to my students that they’d sit up and take notice, even though they’ve heard the story many times before. That is my hope for you as well. I know that the Easter holiday is coming up. It is a time when most believers remember the awesome and terrible story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. So my challenge for you during this season is to see this story with news eyes and hear it with new ears. Receive it with a open heart, and God has promised that your life will changed… forever. Matt 13:13-16

with love in Christ, jeff

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