(Not) Far From God’s Kingdom

(Not) Far From God’s Kingdom


Chris Breslin

Mark 12:28-44


Flickering Mind

Denise Levertov


Lord, not you,

it is I who am absent.

At first

belief was a joy I kept in secret,

stealing alone

into sacred places:

a quick glance, and away—and back,


I have long since uttered your name

but now

I elude your presence.

I stop

to think about you, and my mind

at once

like a minnow darts away,


into the shadows, into gleams that fret

unceasing over

the river’s purling and passing.

Not for one second

will my self hold still, but wanders


everywhere it can turn. Not you,

it is I who am absent.

You are the stream, the fish, the light,

the pulsing shadow,

you the unchanging presence, in whom all

moves and changes.

How can I focus my flickering, perceive

at the fountain’s heart

the sapphire I know is there?


“We could characterize this early Jewish monotheism as creational monotheism, eschatological monotheism and cultic monotheism. That God alone – absolutely without advisors or collaborators or assistants or servants – created all other things was insisted on (even when he was understood to have created out of pre-existing chaos rather than out of nothing). That God was the sole Creator of and the sole Lord over all things required the expectation that in the future, when YHWH fulfils his promises to his people Israel, YHWH will also demonstrate his deity to the nations, establishing his universal kingdom, making his name known universally, becoming known to all as the God Israel has known. This aspect I call eschatological monotheism. Finally, there is also cultic monotheism. Only the sole Creator of all things and the sole Lord over all things should be worshipped, since worship in the Jewish tradition was precisely recognition of this unique identity of the one God.” –Richard Bauckham


“Spend it all. Shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place…give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things will fill from behind, from beneath, like water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.” —Annie Dillard, The Writing Life


Laura Turner’s Post on the Widow’s Mite

Norman Wirzba’s OpEd on “Love as Rubric”


Mark 12:13-17

Psalm 115:4-8

1 Corinthians 13:1-2

Galatians 5:22-23

Matthew 16:24


The Narrative Lectionary


Further Mark Reading

The Gospel According to St. Mark by Morna Hooker

King’s Cross/Jesus the King by Tim Keller

Mark (NICNT Commentary) William Lane

Mark (Anchor Bible Commentary) by Joel Marcus

Binding the Strong Man by Ched Meyers

Mark (Belief Commentary) by William Placher

Mark as Story by David Rhoads & Joanna Dewey

Meeting God in Mark by Rowan Williams

How God Became King by N.T. Wright

Mark for Everyone by N.T. Wright


Further Lenten Reading

God is on the Cross by Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Sweet Deliverance: A Lenten Reader ed Chris Breslin

The Death of the Messiah by Raymond Brown

I Am With You (Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2016 Lent Book) by Kathryn Greene-McCreight

Living the Christian Year by Bobby Gross

Cross-Shattered Christ by Stanley Hauerwas

He Became Like Us: Christ’s Identification with Man by Carlyle Marney

Death on a Friday Afternoon by Richard John Neuhaus

God for Us: Rediscovering the Meaning of Lent & Easter ed Greg Pennoyer

The Seven Sayings of the Saviour on the Cross by Arthur Pink

Abiding (Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2013 Lent Book) by Ben Quash

The Seven Last Words from the Cross by Fleming Rutledge

Listening at Golgotha: Jesus’ Words from the Cross by Peter Storey

Looking Through the Cross (Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2014 Lent Book) by Graham Tomlin

In God’s Hands (Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2015 Lent Book) by Desmond Tutu

Passion and Power (Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2007 Lent Book) by Sam Wells

Thank God it’s Friday by Will Willimon


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