Kneeling, Bowing, etc in Mark’s Gospel

Tonight, while preparing for a sermon on Mark 10:17-31 from the Revised Common Lectionary Year B / Proper 23 (28) / Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, I found myself curious to find all of the place in Mark’s Gospel where people kneel, bow, etc. before Jesus.

I did a quick read (translation: it’s possible that I missed some, although I tried hard not to), and came up with the following.

(All passages from the NRSV. Links go to the chapter containing the quoted verses.)


Mark 1:40 — A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.”

Mark 5:6-7 — When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”

Mark 5: 22-23 — Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.”

Mark 5:33-34 — But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”

Mark 7:25-26 — …but a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter.

Mark 10:17 — As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him, and asked him, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

Mark 15:19 — They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.


I hope this might prove useful to others. If I missed any verses that should be included, please let me know! Thanks. ~ Tj

Money in Mark’s Gospel

Tonight, while preparing for a sermon on Mark 10:17-31 from the Revised Common Lectionary Year B / Proper 23 (28) / Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, I found myself curious to find all of the place in Mark’s Gospel where money is discussed.

I did a quick read (translation: it’s possible that I missed some, although I tried hard not to), and came up with the following.

(All passages from the NRSV. Links go to the chapter containing the quoted verses.)


Mark 6:7-9 — He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics.

Mark 6:35-37 — When it grew late, his disciples came to him and said, “This is a deserted place, and the hour is now very late; send them away so that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy something for themselves to eat.” But he answered them, “You give them something to eat.” They said to him, “Are we to go and buy two hundred denarii worth of bread, and give it to them to eat?”

Mark 10:21-22 — Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said, “You lack one thing; go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.” When he heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

Mark 11:15-17 — Then they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who were selling and those who were buying in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves; and he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. He was teaching and saying, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.”

Mark 12:13-17 — Then they sent to him some Pharisees and some Herodians to trap him in what he said. And they came and said to him, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality, but teach the way of God in accordance with truth. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? Should we pay them, or should we not?” But knowing their hypocrisy, he said to them, “Why are you putting me to the test? Bring me a denarius and let me see it.” And they brought one. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.” Jesus said to them, “Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” And they were utterly amazed at him.

Mark 12:41-44 — He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Mark 14:3-11 — While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, “Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her.” Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.


I hope this might prove useful to others. If I missed any verses that should be included, please let me know! Thanks. ~ Tj

Plattsburgh Clergy Condemn Insurrection and the Lies That Led to It

TO THE EDITOR: On Jan. 6, 2021, our nation suffered an attack as insurgents breached the Capitol.

As religious leaders, we are deeply grieved and angered by this injury to the norms of democracy and the fear experienced by all those who felt themselves at risk of harm. We also mourn the loss of life as a consequence of the chaos.

We unequivocally condemn the violence of Jan. 6. We condemn the actions of those who allowed themselves to be led by anger and fear fueled by lies and conspiracy theories. We denounce leadership which creates divisions and hatred.

While we may disagree with particular policies and actions of government, we acknowledge this Congress and the incoming president and vice president as duly elected.

In the coming days and weeks, we pray for peace and pledge ourselves to doing what we may to promote truth and justice in this nation for all its people.

We continue to pray for the families of those who lost loved ones because of the violence on Jan. 6. On this week when a new president and vice president is inaugurated, we pray for our divided nation. We pray for those who are so hurt and afraid that they would resort to this kind of violence. We stand with and pray for those who work tirelessly for justice and peace. We pray for those who speak truth to power. We pray for the day when people with competing ideals will sit together in harmony at the table of democracy and fellowship.

At the dawn of this new administration on Jan. 20, with all of its hopes and possibilities, we implore people of faith to fervently pray for peace and unity in our nation, and may those prayers, actualized in our civility and kindness toward one another, bring healing to our nation.

Rev. Philip Richards

Rev. Gregory Huth

Rabbi David Kominsky

Rev. Timothy J. Luoma

Rev. Sally Chase White

Rev. Rebekah L Solar

Rev. Martha E Connor

Rev. Chrysalis Beck

Rev. Peggi Eller

Rev. Nicoline Guerrier

Rev. David Ousley

Rev. Paul Heller

Plattsburgh


Originally published 19 January 2021 in the Press Republican of Plattsburgh, NY

Free Books: Healthy Clergy Make Healthy Congregations

(Note: These books are only free today, September 3rd, 2020)

Steve McCutchan posted on The Presbyterian Outlook’s website that today (September 3rd, 2020) is his 54th wedding anniversary. He adds:

My wife, Sandy, who passed away this past November 30th, in addition to being my faithful companion, was also the chief editor of all my books. This includes the nine-volume series, Healthy Clergy Make Healthy Congregations (HCMHC). I’ve decided that in celebration of the fifty-three years we spent together and in thanksgiving for all she contributed to me, I’m going to GIVE AWAY ALL NINE VOLUMES of the HCMHC series on that day.

Here are links to the Kindle versions of each book, plus a 10th book which is also free today:

Those links go to Amazon.com and to the Kindle versions. They should show a price of $0.00. (If not, you may have missed the deadline.)

I’m not sure if they are free in other Amazon stores other than Amazon.com.

I haven’t read these books, so I can’t vouch for them directly, but it seems like a generous offer, worth checking out.

Thanks to Steve for making these books available in honor of Sandy’s memory.

The Daily Lectionary Podcast

Last year (2019) during Lent, I started reading The Daily Lectionary. After Easter, I stopped. No idea why, really. I guess because Lent was over? Which doesn’t make much sense, because I enjoyed reading it every day. Nevertheless, I stopped.

Recently, I’ve been wanted to resume the practice again, but I found that I really liked the idea of reading it in community.

Unfortunately, right now we can’t really read “in community” very easily — at least not in the ways that we’re used to thinking of “community”. I did think of making it a daily Zoom call, but everyone I know right now has plenty of Zoom calls, so I decided to do something different.

I decided to start a podcast where I read The Daily Lectionary.

A Little Background Information

If you have been involved in a mainline Christian church, you may be familiar with the lectionary as a list of readings assigned for Sundays throughout the year, and it operates on a three year cycle. The Revised Common Lectionary is the most familiar, but that’s only one kind of lectionary, and there are lots of others.

The Presbyterian Church (USA) also has a two-year daily lectionary from our Book of Common Worship. You can find the readings online at https://pma.pcusa.org/devotion/. That page is updated every day to show the current day’s readings.

(Of course, there’s nothing particularly “Presbyterian” about the readings; they all come from the Christian Bible, so if you are not Presbyterian, don’t consider that a hindrance.)

Each day consists of 7 readings:

  • 2 Psalms for the morning
  • 3 Readings for mid-day
  • 2 Psalms for the evening

Now, I know you may be thinking, “Seven readings?!?” but these are not long readings. In fact usually they are fairly short, compared to readings that we usually have for a Sunday worship service.

In fact, looking at the readings from the past two weeks’, I can tell you that reading all 7 of them takes an average of 13 minutes per day! The shortest day was about 10 minutes, and the longest was about 17 minutes. If you can take 20 minutes a day, you can do this.

Also note: The podcast is just the text. There is no commentary or interpretation offered, which would not only lengthen the time commitment, but it might be a barrier to some folks. The whole point is simply to have the texts themselves to read, with the expectation that you will add your own thoughts and prayers to the hearing of them.

The mid-day readings usually include one reading from the Hebrew Bible, one reading from the epistles, and one reading from the Gospels.

The times are, of course, just suggestions. You can read them all at once, or divide them differently. I found that I preferred to read the two “morning Psalms” and the three “mid-day” readings early in the day, and then I would read the 2 evening Psalms when I went to bed. There’s no wrong way to do it.

(As an aside: the daily lectionary also tends to repeat the Psalms. This is not a mistake; it is, I believe, intended to give you another opportunity to hear something that you might have missed the first time, or that means more to you on one day than it might have on another.)

“How to listen”

There are several ways to access these recordings, so if you do not know how to do it one way, keep reading, and maybe you’ll find another option you like better.

Option 1: Listen as a Podcast

If you already know what a podcast is and how to use them, then all you need to know is that you should use https://feedpress.me/lectionary as the link to subscribe.

sketch of the Plattsburgh church

You can also search for “Daily Lectionary” in the iTunes Podcast Directory, but if you do that, please note that there are more than one, so look for either my name (Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Luoma) or the picture of the Plattsburgh church (shown here) which is what I used for artwork.

Each day’s readings post at midnight on the day of the assigned reading, so no matter how early in the morning you get up, it should be available for you.

Each episode also includes links to the text of the readings, in case you want to read along as you listen.

Option 2: Receive Links via Daily Email

If you don’t know what a podcast is, or would rather just get a link via email, you can subscribe via email using this link.

Note: To sign up, you will need to enter your email address, then you will receive an email with a link. You must click that link in the email you receive in order to confirm that you want to receive the daily emails.

You will receive one email each day with a link to the page for today’s readings. Click the link, and you will find a web page where you can listen (and read along, if you’d like).

(Unfortunately, there is no way to have the actual audio file delivered via email, but the link should make it almost as easy to get as if it was in your email.)

Option 3: Read (and Bookmark!) a Web Page

If you do not want to use either of those options, you go to this page: The Daily Lectionary and add it to your browser’s “bookmarks” or “favorites,” so you can quickly get back to it.

From there, you can read the text of each day’s readings and listen to the recordings, right from each page.

Option 4: Read using your own Bible and a printed reference guide

You can also find printable lists of the readings for each month in 2020 (or for the entire year, if you want).

Option 5: Get the readings emailed to you each day

The PC(USA) offers a daily email newsletter with the readings, so you don’t have to keep 5 bookmarks in your Bible.

Option 6: There’s an app for that!

The PC(USA) also offers an app for iPhone/iPad and Android devices which will give you the daily readings in your hand.


I hope that this will be a help to those who might want to add daily Scripture readings to their lives but have struggled to do it on their own.