This Palm Sunday, instead of a sermon, we read the Passion story according to Mark (14:1-15:47).
It takes about 18 minutes to read, and it’s captivating in itself. I urge you this week to take the time to read it on your own.
The reading of scripture is the centerpiece of the church’s worship. It’s why we gather in the first place–to hear God’s Word spoken to us through readings and speak God’s Word in our liturgy, our prayers, and our songs.
Often times, though, I think we suffer from what Leonard Sweet calls versitus. Versitus is the painful lack of story or narrative within our churches. It’s an ailment as old as the church itself.
I think we get caught up in all the things around the reading of scripture in worship–the prayers, the songs, the liturgy–that we really have forgotten why we gather together in the first place. We may have even forgot who we are: we are a people of a story.
God’s story and ours transcends the words printed in our bibles, but they start there too. So reading our story, straight from scripture in larger pieces combats our versitus with a healthy dose of storytelling, and it reminds us that God’s story and ours is a long and adventurous one–one to lose ourselves in so that we might gain ourselves along the way.