Grace, mercy, and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
Beginning on Sunday as a congregation we will enter into a yearlong sermon series on the gospel of Mark. I chose Mark because of its length and its directed audience. I chose Mark because I believe as the first gospel written it moves the Christian community from first generation Christians to second generation Christians. Mark tells the gospel about Jesus Christ to a generation who are not able to experience the preaching and teaching of the Apostles and disciples.
As we approach our yearlong study I ask you to join with me by reading the following Scriptures in the following order: 1 Thessalonians, Galatians, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Romans, Philippians, and the gospel of Mark. I am asking you to read these Pauline letters in preparation and as a part of our study of Mark because this is the gospel that the early gentile Christian church knew. The gospel they knew was the gospel of Paul’s preaching and writing to them. Remember the Scriptures of Paul and the early church were the Law and the Prophets that is, our Old Testament. It is the fulfillment of the Scriptures in Jesus Christ that is the gospel.
By beginning with the six Pauline letters we observe the vibrant Christian communities spread throughout the Roman Empire before there were written gospels. Paul’s letters provide a “window” into the life of the early church. In reading Paul’s letters we hear and see more clearly the good news of Jesus existed before written Gospels. The written Gospels are the products of early Christianity in telling the story of Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of the Scriptures. Reading the Gospels in chronological order beginning with Mark demonstrates that early Christian understandings of Jesus and his significance developed.
Please join me in a journey into the gospel about Jesus Christ in Mark.
Yours in Christ,