Going Viral #3 — Mark 11:12-26

Covid19 has us stuck at home preparing for Easter… but rather than arguing over the next show to stream, mark each day with this devotion. Click here if you missed a past day’s reading.

Temples and Figs — Mark 11:12-21

We filmed into the night on Friday. I was too nervous to film live on Sunday morning. What if the internet went down? What if I tripped off the stage and face planted… I guess the church would go viral as social distance was abandoned to clean up my broken nose!

From Friday’s prerecording,  Nick edited the clips (thanks Nick), and we streamed it as though it was live on Sunday. I was at the church that morning with my family. Watching… myself. It was strange. And yet it was nice to sing and realize you were singing at home. Then we prayed and I could see your requests on the screen. I prayed for you. Worship was happening. In a new and totally different way.

We didn’t need the building. We do need each other – but technology helps to bridge the gap. What was most required, the Holy Spirit, moved among us – past all of the distance. However crazy it feels we became part of God’s “house of prayer for all nations.” And I am thankful to worship in this house with you! (Click here to join our worship if you missed it.)

Markan Sandwich — A literary device used by Mark throughout his gospel. A sandwich section begins with one narrative (Bread), but it is interrupted with another narrative (Meat), then returns and concludes the original narrative (Bread). Combined, the stories inform one another. Take a look at this passage:

Bread –> 11:12-14 (Fig Tree), Meat –> 11:15-19 (Temple Cleansing), Bread –> 11:20-21 (Fig Tree Withered)

The basic meaning of Jesus turning over the temple is evident. The worship in the temple is off course and needs to be corrected. Specifically, people are too focused on money — it has become a place where people must pay to worship. A practice that excludes, which is anathema to God! But Mark’s placement of this story lets the reader know that this is not a cleansing (as the story is sometimes titled). Temple cleansing sounds like once the temple is cleaned up the worship will continue. But the placement of the Fig Tree story surrounding Overturning the Temple makes clear that Jesus was bringing an END to worship at the temple. It is no longer fruitful (and the coming narratives will outline the full coming judgment).

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