Today: Psalms 22:1-11; Mark 1:1-28; Exodus 17 & 18

Psalms 22

“Yet You are holy…” Psalms 22:3

Jesus quoted this Psalm from the cross, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (v.1) David’s life was very difficult when he wrote these words. He was being hunted and attacked by people he had once trusted. He cries out to God in despair. There is no direct answer from God in these particular verses. Instead the answer comes when David pivots in verse 3 from a lament to proclaim his faith in God regardless of his dire life situation. This is steadfast faith. This is Job faith. This is ‘though He slay me still I will worship Him’ faith. This is Jesus faith crying out to God in anguish yet still steadfastly completing His salvation mission. Steadfast faith looks up from the depths of desperation and proclaim “Yet You are holy…” Steadfast faith says I don’t understand why these terrible things are happening but I recognize that You, God, are sovereign. You created me and gave me life so I will trust You even when I don’t understand.

"St. Mark the Evangelist" painting by Theophilia

Mark 1

Mark is the condensed version of Jesus’ ministry, like the Cliffs Notes of the gospels.

I’m going to tell you a secret. When I was working on my graduate degree for literature, our teachers regularly assigned us much more reading than was humanly possible to read. If you’re not familiar with them, they give a condensed version of a story, plot synopsis and key themes. I was an A student. I read as much as I could. But there were times when Cliffs Notes saved my goose.

So Mark is the Cliffs Notes gospel, the shortest one that covers the highlights of Jesus’ ministry. I like that. It is interesting to see which parts, what events, which words of Jesus Mark thought were the most consequential. Let’s get into Mark!

Exodus 17 & 18

Moses was wearing himself out. He was working too hard. His wise father-in-law suggested that he delegate some of his responsibilities to lighten his load. Moses wisely followed his advice.

Sometimes we need to step back and give ourselves a break. I’m a type A personality and I run my own website development business from my home. I am always working even when I’m supposed to be on ‘vacation’ (what’s a vacation?). I actually prefer it that way. I feel guilty when I’m not being productive.

I like being this way. I get so much accomplished! But I’ve had to begrudgingly realize that it’s not necessarily the best way to be. We all need rest for our bodies, minds, and spirits. We need regular Sabbaths from our work to replenish. This is something I still struggle with to find the best balance.