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Lent for Everyone
Mark Year B

...‘With these binoculars,’ said the salesman, taking me outside the shop, ‘you can tell the time on the church clock half a mile away. With these ones, though’ (his assistant brought him out another pair), ‘you can lip-read what the vicar’s saying to the people as they come out. And with these ones –’ (the third and largest pair were produced, monstrously long and weighing several pounds), ‘well, these ones bring the church so close you can hear the choir singing.’

A tease, of course, but it set me thinking about the way in which the zoom lens of a camera, or the extraordinary magnification of binoculars, enable you not just to see a bit more clearly what you can see already, but to see new details which give different meaning to the whole picture.

Mark’s portrait of the eager young man who ran up and knelt before Jesus has something of that zoom-lens quality. So often, elsewhere in the gospels, we are told what Jesus said but not the way he looked at people, or the emotions that crossed his face. But here – this scene obviously made a deep impression on the disciples as they saw the little sequence unfold – we have three indications which, if you were a theatrical producer putting this on as a play, would enable you to catch the mood, the tension and the drama of the whole thing very well...

Taken from Lent for Everyone Mark Year B by Tom Wright

Publisher: SPCK - view more
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