Christmas in Mark

NextSunday Study Christmas in Mark

Christmas in Mark

Study by James C. Dant
Commentary by Guy Sayles

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Brief Description

Christmas in March? It’s a question I hear every year on the Sunday closest to March 25. The quizzical inquiry is typically posed by a newcomer. This particular individual will be new to the cycle of worship we embrace. They may have already adjusted to Advent, embraced Epiphany, and lived through the beginning of their first Lenten season. But this is too strange—singing “Silent Night,” “Gentle Mary Laid Her Child,” and “O Little Town of Bethlehem” in March! It is always a pleasure to teach our new parishioners (and remind a few older ones) about Annunciation Sunday. Nine months before Christmas Day, we celebrate the angel’s appearance to Mary. It’s a refreshing departure from the rigors of Lent and the familiar feel of a typical spring Sunday.

Christmas in Mark? It’s a question I’m sure you will ask as you begin this series of Advent/Christmas sessions. Rarely will you read Mark during this season. Writers and readers alike typically gravitate toward Luke and Matthew. When sugarplums are not dancing in our heads, our minds are filled with angels, shepherds, and wise men. Pastures filled with sheep and mangers filled with hay fill the spaces in our seasonal imaginations. None of these nuances of nativity exists in Mark. That does not mean, however, that Mark has nothing to say about this wonderful, heavenly gift.

Christmas in Mark? Absolutely. In the early chapters of Mark, we will encounter a Christmas story. This story, however, will not be quite like the one told by other Gospel writers, but it will resonate with the reality of your life. We will witness the backdrop of some wonderful Christmas cards, enjoy a very personal Christmas wish, participate in a Christmas feast, and learn an important Christmas principle. Mark doesn’t deny the beauty or reality of the nativity; however, he seems to believe that Christmas begins—the gospel begins—when Christ intrudes upon the hard realities of life.

Christmas in March? A little strange. Christmas in Mark? Not strange at all. In fact, I think you’ll find it all too familiar.

Materials Included
• 5 Sessions of Learner’s Materials
• 5 Sessions of Teaching Materials
• 5 Handouts

Sessions Included
1. A Christmas Story
2. A Christmas Card
3. A Christmas Wish
4. A Christmas Feast
5. A Christmas Principle

Age Group
Adult

Scriptures
1. Mark 1:1-20
2. Mark 1:21-39
3. Mark 2:1-12
4. Mark 2:13-20
5. Mark 4:1-20

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