Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Lectionary Pump Fake

A pump fake in basketball or American football is where the guy with the ball does something that would be completely illegal in the game of baseball. In the pump fake, the ball handler starts the motion of making a pass in one direction, pulls back and then does something else such as shooting or dribbling the ball or running the football.

Since we have been following the curious ways that our Lectionary splices and dices Holy Scripture, I was almost faked out by today's Gospel reading, Mark 6:30-34,53-56 which comes out like this,
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, ‘Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. 34 As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.

(Then jump ahead to Healing the Sick in Gennesaret)

53 When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. 54 When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55 and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. 56 And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the market-places, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

Yeah, something is missing. Shall we say the bread and butter of the subject. Why do this.

The reason this is a pump fake is that next week we get to hear John 6:1-21 and the feeding of the five thousand and Jesus walking on the water.

I don't get it.


  1. Anonymous4:40 PM

    These weird Lectionary readings are annoying, to say the least.

    The compilers should have included the full story at different times in the Church calendar. Mark for one Gospel reading, John's version for another. What's wrong with hearing the same wonderful story twice?

    Thanks for these. (As you know, I'm going through the passages from Mark which have been excluded from the Lectionary.)


    1. I'm sure that one day a lectionary archeologist will uncover an explanation and post it here. I think we have a great idea for a PhD thesis going. The professors might not like my conclusions, but I bet some genius out there will be able to pull one over on them.