The Sleeping Seed

Farmers have completed their work of planting the seeds. Only the power of God in life itself is going to take over now. God’s Kingdom life is like that. It will prevail, despite its being hidden and small at first.

Jesus sleeps as a seed in the bottom of the boat. He awakens and rebukes not only the wind and the waves, but the unbelief of the disciples as well.

Believe that the Spirit deep within you, apparently asleep, is really at work bringing Pentecost life to flourish in you. It will happen, if you let it. Spend time in the silence, just being with the Lord as the seed of God’s love grows within you. Others will then find rest in the shadow of your arms as branches of God’s own love for them.

The Reading for Today   Mark 4:26-41


This is the second of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Fridays in Year B in the seasons of Epiphany, Pentecost and Kingdomtide are dedicated to the Gospel of Mark.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting Firestarters from the original version of The Bible Through the Seasons.

Who’s in Charge?

The Pharisees commit the sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, accusing Jesus of healing by the power of Satan. In their spiritually stubborn position, they paint themselves into a corner with no escape.

It is very hard to commit this great sin, but there are smaller versions of it that can undermine your spirit, such as living as though you are Number One instead of God.

You will notice many kinds of demons that Jesus had to cast out. Not only were there ones of disease and infirmity, but there were those who dominated the spiritual realm in envy, pride, and blasphemy. Even Jesus’ own family, who know him from the beginning, thought he was out of his mind. They “over-knew” Jesus on one level and refused to see him as the Anointed One of God.

For you: who is Jesus?

Mark 3:20-35


This is the second of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B
Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from
The Revised Common Lectionary.
We will be reading from the Gospel of Mark until the First Sunday in Advent.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be posting Firestarters from the original version of The Bible Through the Seasons. 

Faith of a Foreigner

Christ and the Canaanite Woman, 1783-84 (oil on canvas) by Drouais, Jean-Germain (1763-1788); 114×146 cm; Louvre, Paris, France

The Reading for Today: Mark 7:24-37

Words of Jesus abrupt and even rude…Such seems to be the case today. Recall the Marriage Feast of Cana when Jesus said to Mary about the wine running dry: “What is that to you and to me?” Here too, it appears to be unkind of Jesus to refer to the Syro-Phoenician woman as a dog!

However, the intent of Jesus is to place the faith of the foreign woman into strong relief. Jesus healed the woman with the hemorrhage; she knew that only a touch of the tassel on Jesus’ garment would be enough to be healed. This woman as well believes that only crumbs from the table of Jesus are all her daughter needs for healing.

The whole body of Christ is given to you in a crumb from the Communion table. One touch, one taste of the Master is enough.

The Reading for Today

This is the eighth of thirteen weeks in the season of Pentecost, Year B.
Fridays from now until Advent are dedicated to the Gospel of Mark.

Pressing About Jesus

Friday of the Fourth Week in Epiphany
Mark 1:32-45

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


This is Mark’s version of a typical day in the life of Jesus, beginning in the evening. People from all over crowd about him, longing to be healed. His fame spreads.

Let there arise a longing in your heart to press about Jesus. Remember, the victory over the world is faith. The world wants to control, bind, and have power over others. However, greater than what is pressing against you is Christ who presses about you. Think of this at evening time when you and other families come home. Come close to Jesus at that hour, bringing with you the crowds that are bound in traffic on their way home. Bring them to the Lord for healing, restoration, comfort, and rest.

Jesus finds the night for prayer. Let part of your nights be for that as well; rest itself can become prayer. If you rise in the morning to commute, remember that Jesus too, went on to other towns!


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This year, we read the Gospel of St. Mark, except during Lent and a few other exceptions.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

When You Grow Up

The Fourth Sunday in Epiphany
Mark 1:14-20

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


Not only being with Jesus, but being Jesus to the world—this is the meaning of the call of the first disciples. As they clean up their nets and receive the invitation to cast them over a broken, hurting world, they are to become an extension of Jesus himself.

As you “clean up” after your day of work and prepare for rest, ask the Spirit to deal with you about your life-work. Is there something that needs to change for you? Are you willing to get in touch with the pain of the discomfort that may well up with the words: “I’m just not doing what I really want to do!” Respect those feelings of disquiet; they are the beginning of being open to what the Lord is inviting you to do with your life.

What do you want to be when you grow up…in the Lord?


Sundays are dedicated to the Gospels from The Revised Common Lectionary.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

Fresh Divine Power

Friday of the Third Week in Epiphany
Mark 1:21-31

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


The first action of deliverance in Mark’s Gospel is the casting out of an unclean spirit. Jesus heals the person at a Sabbath service in the synagogue of Capernaum. Synagogues at that time shared the same, basic sequence of Torah readings that we and all Jewish people follow on the Sabbath.

Jesus’ presence in the synagogue is transforming. Persons who need healing, physically or emotionally, are present. Jesus brings fresh, divine power into the covenant of healing which we read around this time in Exodus 15:26. It is basic in Mark: Jesus wins victory over the power of Satan in the movement of his ministry, just as he overcame the devil in the desert. Where the Israelites were faithless, Jesus is faithful.

Be in the synagogue with Jesus and watch him make new what is old, with his love and power.


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This year, we read the Gospel of St. Luke,except during Lent and with a few other exceptions.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families

With Jesus on Dry Ground

Friday of the Second Week in Epiphany
Mark 1:9-20

Nick reads the one-minute introduction.


The Baptism of Christ – Tintoretto 1579-81

Water has various symbolic meanings in the Bible. In the Book of Genesis, it is a sign of chaos. As the Spirit brooded over the waters, limits to water’s movements were set beyond which they could not go, as the dry land appeared.

Over the waters of the Jordan, the Spirit broods once again, appearing over Jesus as he is baptized. The chaos of sin is limited as Jesus rises up on dry land. The space between earth and heaven opens and the voice of God is heard. Just as the dove came to rest when the waters of the flood receded, so does the Spirit rest on Jesus.

A new time of salvation came with Jesus’ baptism. He rose from the death that is the waters of sin, and brought you to new life in God’s Spirit. Rest on the dry land with Jesus on the other side of the Jordan. Follow him in the desert of temptations. Be with him as ministry begins.


Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels. This year, we read the Gospel of St. Luke,except during Lent and with a few other exceptions.


Daily Bible Breaths


Version for Children and Families