“The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” (Mark 1:15, NRSV)
Many took the "Mark Challenge" this past Sunday, January 9, 2011...but it's not too late!
As we spend time together walking through the Gospel of Mark, from now through Easter, everyone is invited to take this opportunity to grow as the untamed disciples Jesus calls us to be. In Mark's gospel, we will encounter an untamed Jesus who is rough around the arranges, contraversial and even wild at times. This Jesus calls his disciples over and over again with the words "Come and follow me" - and by the power of the Holy Spirit those words call us to a life of faith, as well.
The question is - How do we respond?
During this sermon series, titled "Untamed Discipleship: Living the Good News of Mark's Gospel with Reckless Abandon," we will be encouraged, shaken out of our comfort zones and challenged to respond with all that we have and all that we are. One way to begin the adventure is to take The Mark Challenge...
What?: An opportunity to grow in faith by making a commitment to the scriptures and surrendering yourself to the work of Holy Spirit.
Challenge #1 - Read the Gospel of Mark for 15 minutes, 5 days a week. When you reach the end of the Gospel, begin again.
Challenge #2 - Join a triad (group of three) to read the Gospel of Mark together for one hour, every two weeks.
Who?: Anyone and everyone. All ages are welcome. Consider partnering with a friend or signing up as a family.
When?: For "Challenge #1," try and commit to at least 5 days a week (and if you miss one, don't give up, just come back to it the next day). For "Challenge #2," try and coordinate a time that works best for the other two members of your group to meet at least every other week. Both challenges begin on January 9 and continue through Easter (or longer, if you choose).
Why?: "We know God by two means...First, through creation...Second, God communicates to us more clearly through the holy and divine Word..." (Belgic Confession) God chooses to be revealed in the words of scripture, so when we spend time with the Bible we spend time with God. Over time, the words work themselves into our hearts and minds, transforming each of us more and more into the image of God. Spending significant time with the Gospel of Mark, even reading it through several times, may reveal new surprises about our understanding of Jesus and of God the Father and new discoveries of the Spirit's work in our lives.
If you, or someone you know is interested in taking the challenge, you may sign up at the Welcome Center or contact Pastor Megan (email@example.com or 616-399-9280 x14).
For tools and tips, you may pick up one of the bookmarks at the Welcome Center or print your own copy here.