This week’s readings Like last week, we’ll start with the Gospel Reading, Mark 1:1-8. We begin at the beginning of the book of Mark! But…what was going on just before this? Honestly, I’m not sure that I had three Sunday School classes in my whole life talk about what happened between Malachi and Matthew, but it’s important. I’d like to do a review of the history between the Old and New Testaments so we can orient ourselves to the timing of Mark. The Old Testament closes with the book of MalachiĀ and the restoration of the Jews to Jerusalem. Recall that the Northern Kingdom of Israel had been defeated and dispersed by Assyria while Judah held firm. The Southern Kingdom of Judah was defeated by Babylon as had been foretold by several prophets. Then Jerusalem was restored following this defeat. The restoration happened in three basic waves–the books of Ezra and Nehemiah document part of this. The Temple was restored, along with basic Temple practices like sacrifice. Malachi came along around.. Read More