Think on These Things: Gospel of Mark the perfect guide for spiritual quests

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Tom Greentree is the pastor of the Erickson Covenant Church.

Tom Greentree is the pastor of the Erickson Covenant Church.

If you ever needed a guidebook for spirituality, you will do no better than the good news story of Mark. Action-packed, insightful, challenging and relentless, the Gospel of Mark captures Jesus in a way that both intrigues and terrifies. Far from the iconic stereotypes and popular drivel, this Jesus is alive with passion for people and disdain for religion, calling people to follow him and find out what God is really up to in the world.

His journey from the wilderness to the cross is a journey to which we are all invited, though we know very little of what it will cost our comfortable, status quo lives. Far from anemic platitudes, this spirituality of Jesus is robust, true to both the mess and the beauty of our lives, surprisingly in tune with our deepest longings.

In Jesus, we see God more vividly than ever before, and we hear the voice of God speaking with a clarity that penetrates our very souls. In a world awash with puppet kings and diabolical tyrants, we witness, finally, what true authority in the hands of a good king really looks like — healing the sick, welcoming the outcast, loving the lonely and challenging the oppressors, offering good news for all. This king is willing to suffer for his people. This king becomes both servant and sacrifice. We’ve never seen authority uncorrupted before, so at first we aren’t sure we can trust him.

Can God really be that good? we wonder. We watch. And we find ourselves intrigued by his actions, his words, his way, and crowd in close for a better look. And, sooner or later, we begin to trust that this good king really is here for us, for all, for good. And we hear his invitation to join him in his dream of setting the world to rights, starting in us and (surprisingly) working through us.

The good news story of Mark — dust off that old Bible, download the YouVersion Bible app on your iPad or iPhone, do what you need to do to join in the story. Wherever you are, this is your invitation into a true spirituality of deepest transformation.

Tom Greentree is the pastor of the Erickson Covenant Church. Join the conversation about Mark’s good news story this fall as the church launches a new message series Sunday mornings. Find out more at ericksoncovenant.ca, or YouTube for more on Mark’s Gospel.