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Start at the Beginning

Start at the Beginning

Daily Office Readings for Friday, July 9, 2021: AM Psalm 16, 17; PM Psalm 221 Samuel 17:17-30; Acts 10:34-48; Mark 1:1-13

Start at the Beginning, A poetic reflection on Mark 1:1-13

“Start at the beginning,” I always say

When parishioners want to tell me

about something that’s bothering them

or about a complicated situation.


For Matthew, the beginning

is the family lineage, generation to generation; 

For Luke it is the birth of the man

who will eventually baptize Jesus.

John’s beginning of the life of Jesus

is the beginning that predates all life on earth.

All of them grand, sweeping, 

historical, Hollywood blockbuster

sorts of beginnings

made for large opening credits,

star portrayals,

James Earl Jones narrations,

Cecil B. DeMille larger than life spectacles.


Mark’s beginning

Seems more like the opening scene in Speed

(“Bob, what button did you push?”)

or perhaps

Cubby Broccoli’s James Bond,

always in the middle of the action

before we even know where we are

and what is about to happen.


“Start at the beginning,” they always say

When someone wants to hear the story

of how I traveled from pathologist to priest.

I realized not long ago

the story I tell today

has a different beginning

than the one I told four years ago.

I wonder what it will be

when I tell it five years from now.


I wonder…

I really do…

if we could buttonhole Mark

in a corner of the café

where the company of saints

sips espresso

or a shady table

next to Brigid’s Lake of Beer…

what story Mark would tell us

that was the story of our beginning?


Maria Evans splits her week between being a pathologist and laboratory director in Kirksville, MO, and gratefully serving in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri , as the Interim Pastor at Christ Episcopal Church, Rolla, MO. 



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