From Pastor Charlie

During Lent let's imagine ourselves like the first generation of Christians, gathering to worship in homes and hearing the gospel of Mark read during a fellowship meal.

That will happen on Wednesday evenings in the Garden House at Keeler Tavern, across from the church on Main Street. It will be a "house church" kind of atmosphere, intimate, warm, friendly, spiritual.

We'll start each Wednesday with a simple meal of bread and soup at 6:30 and then worship right at our tables at 7:00 p.m. In addition to meditating on the life of Jesus as recorded in the gospel of Mark, we will sing and pray, celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and engage in healing prayer.

Mark was the first of the four gospels to be written down and distributed in the early church. It's shorter than Matthew, Luke, and John, and more action-packed.

Mark's gospel is cinematic. The narrative starts with a bang and moves quickly from scene to scene. Tension builds until (in chapter 11) Jesus leads his followers into the capital city of Jerusalem for that historic showdown with the authorities of both Temple and Empire.

Reading a gospel from start to finish is a great Lenten discipline. The best way to do it is to read out loud, like the early Christians did, either alone or with friends. Reading aloud brings out the drama. We'll be doing that as a congregation during Lent and you can do it at home. You get into the Word and God's Word will get into you.

Charles Hambrick-Stowe