We are in the Lectionary Year of Mark. Our preaching discipline is to listen to the whole gospel over the course of the year, following the readings set out in the Revised Common Lectionary.
Mark appears to have been the first of the Gospels, and strongly shapes Matthew and Luke as they follow its telling of the Jesus story. It is brief-- it takes about 45 minutes to read-- and might be called the "action gospel," or "the gospel in a hurry." It is characterised by the words kai euthos, which in English translate as "and immediately."
The year is also notable for its excursion into parts of the Gospel of John.
Rev Prof Bill Loader has two short introductions to Mark on his website, which are The Gospel of Mark - An Introduction for Preachers, and Engaging Mark - Reflections on Mark for Preaching. Despite the emphasis on preaching, these articles and his weekly lectionary reflections are an excellent introduction to Mark from the Uniting Church's perspective.
If you wish to do futher reading of weekly resources beyond the Markan commentary we have on this page, the "go to" site for all things RCL is The Text This Week. Wikipedia has a detailed article about the origins of Mark and some of its characteristics. The Australian musician Nick Cave has a fascinating personal introduction to Mark which has been posted here.
© Scots Church Adelaide Ph. 08 8223 1505