In Sunday School this week I wanted to prepare the class for the coming year of preaching Mark in the Gospel (prep them for listening to Mark, I guess.) Only I did it backwards by explaining the lectionary cycle, handing out a list of readings in the Gospel of Mark scheduled for this year, and then a document that lists all of the Gospel of Mark that isn't scheduled to be read this year, or any year, in the lectionary. I did a cross-reference with the synoptic gospels of Matthew and Luke and listed which stories in Mark were not used in any lectionary year. In other words, which verses in Mark are never read in worship, if we follow the lectionary?
It was surprising that the names of the 12 apostles was not ever read. But quickly we discovered that the most difficult texts are often the ones not included. So someone said, "So does the lectionary mean we avoid the hardest texts in the Bible?" There are plenty of hard ones to preach on (like last week's Mark 13) but yes, many difficult and obtuse texts are left out.
So we decided to make a list of texts that we were curious about and plan to cover them occasionally in the Sunday School class. I didn't promise that Pastor Rich and I could explain them, but that we sure can wrestle with them. I'll be curious to see which texts the class wants to explore. Any ideas?