I love the fact that God gave his people feasts. The feasts were in essence – holidays. God established “family traditions” for the Israelite nation :) Each year is book-ended by two feasts that both celebrate the escape from Egypt. The year began with Passover – a solemn memorial in which they ate unleavened bread for a week. And the year ended with the Feast of Booths. This feast was very different. Listen to its description…
And you shall take on the first day the fruit of splendid trees, branches of palm trees and boughs of leafy trees and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God seven days.
That sounds like a party to me! In fact, this feast reminds me of one big camping retreat (as the people were commanded to live in tents for the week). God is a lot of things, but he’s not boring ;)
We begin Mark today. Immediately, you should notice a different-styled gospel than Matthew. Mark describes in 20 verses what Matthew took four chapters to cover. Mark’s gospel reminds me of a highlight reel that hits you with one power-punched scene after another. Reading it makes me want to hit the pause button :) But Mark had a purpose, and it was to encourage discipleship. Matthew’s gospel ended with “The Great Commission” …to make disciples of all the nations. In order to be a disciple of Christ, we must know Him and imitate Him. Mark’s gospel makes this possible!