"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Parables in Mark
Mark 4:1-34 Commentary
by Angela Dienhart Hancock
Transparency is something we value. In government, in our institutions, in our relationships.
We want to know what is going on and why. We deserve to know. While we don’t usually use the language of transparency when we talk about our hopes for growth as Christian disciples, many of us have an expectation that we can and will know more than we do about the things of God. We expect that there will be learning, development, maturation. We expect that we will be able to see more clearly what the dominion of God is like, day by day. We trust that when faith seeks understanding, it finds it, at least to some degree. What is the incarnation — God with us — if not (among other things) divine transparency?
An initial walk through the topography of Mark 4:1–34 may lend support to those expectations. There are five parables of Jesus cradled among these verses, which are described as “teaching.” That sounds promising — while teaching is not the same thing as learning, surely learning is Jesus’ desired outcome. But it turns out things are ...
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2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 392: Parables in Mark
January 19, 2020
Podcast on the Narrative Lectionary readings for Jan. 19, 2020, (Parables in Mark) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.