Read Mark in Lent 2021

I am preaching on Mark 1:9–15 this Sunday for All Saints’, Ealing, and got to thinking about how the focus of this passage is on Jesus and what happens to him—as opposed to the easy danger of assuming that the Gospels are all about us, our experience is just like that of Jesus, and the story is really about us hearing God say, ‘You are my son/daughter’ to us. Like all the stories in Mark, an ancient biography, the focus is on Jesus, and that calls us to focus on Jesus as part of our Lenten discipline of walking towards the cross.

So I devised a reading plan starting next week to read the whole of Mark’s Gospel during Lent 2021 (since this is the year of Mark in the three-year lectionary which the Church of England uses). The plan has two versions: one in which there are five readings per week to engage with, of about 20-30 verses each (so about 10–15 minutes of reading time); the other identifies the chapters for the week (two or three) to read as a block (e.g. weekend or day off when there’s more space)—this one will take up to an hour per week, depending on how quickly you read. Below is the plan as an image. It’s also available here as an Excel spreadsheet or here as a pdf file.