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This Sunday – Feb 13

I think that I need a stronger signal.  Maybe a new box.


The cable service for our television has not been working well.  Sometimes the picture is fragmented and the audio garbled.  Sometimes it won’t allow me to change channels.  Sometimes the screen just goes blank.  Sometimes we lose service altogether while the system has to reboot. 


I’ve called the company a couple of times and twice cable guys have come out.  The first one replaced the box.  The second one put in an order to have a new line put in our yard.  He said that the original one was too small for the signal we needed.


As problems go, it’s not a problem, just an aggravation.  (Who wants to be a spoiled suburbanite worried about cable service?  I wonder if Jesus would have cable. Probably, during basketball season.)  But, it is a lesson.


I’ve been studying the gospel of Mark for one reason:  to make sure that my picture of Jesus is clear – not fragmented with garbled audio.  To make sure that I’m on the right channel.


When I’ve called the cable company they have never been concerned about the equipment at their end.  There is no problem at the source.  They send out a plenty strong signal.  The issue is always at my end, in my house.


Mark sends out a powerful signal about who Jesus is.  And as I study, pray and listen I see my capacity to receive that signal growing.


That’s why I am teaching the gospel of Mark on Sunday mornings at the Gathering Church.  I want to expand our ability to get the picture of who Jesus is.  This Sunday we will look at Mark 1:9-13.  John the Baptist begins this decisive movement of God, crowds respond, and he announces that a greater one  is coming.  The greater one shows up, but totally unlike one would expect after John’s big build-up.


The first time we see Jesus, he is in a crowd coming to be baptized for the forgiveness of their sins.  How could he belong with them?


Why is this event so important that every gospel writer starts with it?


If we don't get the signal on this story our picture of Jesus will never really be in focus.


If we do, we will think differently about him, about God, about others, and even about ourselves.


This is one channel you won’t change once you get the signal. 


  1. Hi Mark. It amazes me how God works. For the past 3 months I have been preaching through the book of Mark as well (am on Mark 2:14 now). I truly believe God is speaking to the church at large about some of the same things at the same time!