This week's theme
Readings in Mark (1): 2 Authority on earth
Restoring God, step into the midst of my dryness and water me afresh, so my life and the life of the world will flourish. Amen
For further thought
What traditions in your church community need challenging?
Which of your religious practices threatens to impede Gods action and create barriers?
Being overlooked by others does not mean you have been overlooked by Jesus.
How can prayer be the anchor of your life? What does this psalm tell you about prayer?
Do you find it difficult to believe that God always chooses to do good to you? How has God been at work in your life?
Jesus could have spent days healing the sick in Capernaum. Why do you think he needed to move on to other places?
When and how does God speak to you with authority?
What do you think is meant by being a fisher of people? How might you go about it in your own life?
In what ways does the picture of Gods Son and his work described in Psalm 2 differ from the reality of Jesus described in Marks Gospel?
As you read through Marks Gospel this year, note down the words and actions of Jesus that show what the kingdom of God is like.
Mary didnt understand what was happening to her at the time. Does God depend on our understanding or just on our yes to him?
Pauls conversion was not just a bolt from the blue but depended on Ananias faithful response. What does this tell you about how God works?
What does it mean to you to take the Bible seriously, responsibly and personally? How can you commit to this in the year ahead?
Jesus said that someone who can be trusted in small matters can be entrusted with greater things. Are we trustworthy?
Does a sense of your own imperfection hold you back from volunteering to serve?
Recalling the journey of the past year, would you say heaven touched down in your life, if briefly?
What is the biggest dream you dream for your life? Mary Olivers poem, Evidence, may be a good companion as you sit with that question.
I invite you to read George Herberts poem Love (III) and to contemplate the poets phrase quick-eyed Love. What does it say about Jesus? What does it suggest about living a Christian life?
Is there a family tradition that gives you a sense of living as part of a much larger whole? If so, what is the tradition? Why is it important to you?
Is there a song in your music library that conveys the faith that Mary sings? That echoes her confidence?
Where in your community would you least expect to find evidence of incarnate love? Would you be willing to go there and look more closely?
Take time out today to consider and reflect on what Gods will is for you in a particularly difficult situation.
What covenants, legal or otherwise, underlie your community and make it safe?
What deep desire might you need to listen to today? What might you need to let go of?
How does this very practical and cultural context for the word redeemer help you see Jesus as redeemer?
The blessing the Israelites received was very practical a promise of land, rain and a healthy harvest. Count your blessings today, and give thanks.
What person in your life today or in the past is a person of integrity? What traits do they have?
Which are the forces of darkness in your life that you can identify? How can you oppose them?
What examples can you think of in which different parts work together for the sake of greater unity?
How do we debate with those who graphically portray the second coming of Christ with absolute certainty?
'For many of our readers IBRA notes have become a habit. There are using them for years. The notes cover the Old and New Testaments in a balanced way. The little stories and simple method of exposition are attractive.'
This week's writer
Shirlyn Toppin is a Methodist presbyter and is presently appointed to the Ealing Trinity Circuit, London, with pastoral oversight of two congregations. She believes passionately in the preaching of the word of God, without compromise or fear, and exercisi
Celebrating 135 years!
Join us in celebrating 135 years of the work of IBRA!
To mark this auspicious occasion we have a special celebration edition available.
Read about our rich history and the origins of our founder Charles Waters, bank manager and Sunday School teacher – not a scholar, preacher, or public speaker – who had a gift for organisation and a vision for making the Bible accessible to all.
Our reading today is 'Mark 3:112