Today, on many of the Christian calendars, they are remembering Mark, the evangelist. My denomination (United Methodist) doesn’t usually deal with the sanctoral calendars, though they generally recognize the liturgical year and major feast days. Our founder, John Wesley, was a practicing Anglican in the 18th century, and kept major and minor feast days that were common in England at the time. A read through his journal gives you the idea that he used the Book of Common Prayer as a major source of devotion and inspiration.
Today, The United Methodist Church is meeting in Tampa for the second day of its General Conference. The scripture for yesterday’s theme was from the Gospel of Mark, and today’s reading in the daily devotion for the Conference is Mark 2:13-17:
13 Jesus went out beside the lake again. The whole crowd came to him, and he began to teach them.
14 As he continued along, he saw Levi, Alphaeus’ son, sitting at a kiosk for collecting taxes. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” Levi got up and followed him.
15 Jesus sat down to eat at Levi’s house. Many tax collectors and sinners were eating with Jesus and his disciples. Indeed, many of them had become his followers.
16 When some of the legal experts from among the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they asked his disciples, “Why is he eating with sinners and tax collectors?”
17 When Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor, but sick people do. I didn’t come to call righteous people, but sinners.”
(Common English Bible)
May we, the Church, learn to keep company like Jesus. May we learn to follow like the disciples. May we embody the Gospel.
Almighty God, by the hand of Mark the evangelist you have given to your Church the Gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God: We thank you for this witness, and pray that we may be firmly grounded in its truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.