Category Archives: faith

Christian Job opportunities.

This section lists Christian jobs, opportunities and vacancies in mission, ministry and church work. It includes short-term mission, Christian gap year, internship and long-term mission opportunities, in the UK and overseas.

Opportunity Details

Location:IrelandFinance:Personal SupportDuration:Less than 3 months, 3‑12 months, Over 12 monthsActivity:Children & Youth, Church Related, Evangelism & DiscipleshipPosted:31 May 2022Closes:Open-ended

Church Plant Internships and Short Term Opportunities in Ireland

European Christian Mission

Various internship and short term opportunities available in church plant projects in Ireland (from 1 month to 2 years). A chance to use your gifts in different areas of ministry.

Job Details

Location:Papua New GuineaFinance:Salary/Allowance, Personal SupportDuration:Over 12 months, Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Information Technology, Leadership & ManagementPosted:30 May 2022Closes:31 Oct 2022


Mission Aviation Fellowship

To help implement and develop good IT services and infrastructure we are looking for an IT Manager to join our PNG programme. 

Job Details

Location:Papua New GuineaFinance:Salary/Allowance, Personal SupportDuration:Over 12 months, Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:AdministrationPosted:30 May 2022Closes:31 Oct 2022

Executive Officer – PNG 

Mission Aviation Fellowship

We are seeking an experienced EO to work with the Country Director in PNG, this role has a high level of authority to help manage and represent the needs and interests of MAF.

Job Details

Location:Papua New GuineaFinance:Salary/Allowance, Personal SupportDuration:3‑12 months, Over 12 months, Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Leadership & Management, Member CarePosted:30 May 2022Closes:31 Oct 2022

URGENT-HR Manager – PNG 

Mission Aviation Fellowship

This exciting role is crucial in supporting the PNG Country Director in achieving the programme’s strategic and operational objectives. 

Job Details

Location:ChadFinance:Salary/Allowance, Personal SupportDuration:Over 12 monthsActivity:Practical & Technical, Relief & DevelopmentPosted:30 May 2022Closes:31 Oct 2022

CRITICAL – Chief Engineer- Chad

Mission Aviation Fellowship

MAF has been serving in Chad for over 50 years through times of famine, drought and civil unrest. Working with many partner organisations, MAF provides an effective air transport.

Opportunity Details

Location:Papua New GuineaFinance:Personal Support, VoluntaryDuration:Over 12 monthsActivity:Children & Youth, Education & TrainingPosted:30 May 2022Closes:15 Jul 2022

Teaching Opportunities – Various Locations

Mission Aviation Fellowship

There are a number of International Christian Schools who provide education for some of our missionary children and from time to time teaching opportunities arise with them.

Opportunity Details


Work from HomeFinance:Personal SupportDuration:Over 12 months, Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Evangelism & DiscipleshipPosted:30 May 2022Closes:11 Jul 2022

Staff Worker / Apprentice Staff Worker – Birmingham

Friends International

Friends International (FI), an evangelical mission agency, seeks a Staff Worker, reporting to the Centre Team Leaders, to develop international student ministries in Birmingham.

Opportunity Details

Location:IrelandFinance:Personal SupportDuration:Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Children & Youth, Church Related, Evangelism & DiscipleshipPosted:30 May 2022Closes:Open-ended

Children’s and Youth Workers in South East Ireland

European Christian Mission

ECM is looking for children’s and youth workers for an existing church plant in Waterford, South East Ireland. This role could be done bi-vocationally.

Opportunity Details

Location:IrelandFinance:Personal SupportDuration:Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Church Related, Evangelism & DiscipleshipPosted:30 May 2022Closes:Open-ended

Sharing the Gospel with the People of Waterford

European Christian Mission

ECM is looking for people to work alongside a small team at the Ferrybank church plant in Waterford, Ireland. Could you be salt and light in a community where many have lost faith?

Opportunity Details

Location:SpainFinance:Personal SupportDuration:Over 12 months, Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:AdministrationPosted:30 May 2022Closes:Open-ended

Office Administrator

Reach Beyond

Manager for the North Africa/Middle East office in Spain

Job Details

Location:EssexFinance:Salary/AllowanceDuration:Open‑ended / Permanent, Over 12 monthsActivity:Children & Youth, Church RelatedPosted:30 May 2022Closes:17 Jun 2022

Youth Worker

St John’s Church, Buckhurst Hill

• £27,000 – £30,000 depending on experience
• 5 weeks holiday + bank holidays
• full time preferred (37.5 hrs) but open to part time

Job Details

Location:EssexFinance:Salary/AllowanceDuration:Open‑ended / Permanent, Over 12 monthsActivity:Children & Youth, Church RelatedPosted:30 May 2022Closes:17 Jun 2022

Children and Family Worker

St John’s Church, Buckhurst Hill

• £27,000 – £30,000 depending on experience
• 5 weeks holiday + bank holidays
• full time preferred (37.5 hrs) but open to part time

Opportunity Details

Location:EcuadorFinance:Personal SupportDuration:Over 12 months, Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Evangelism & Discipleship, Health & MedicalPosted:28 May 2022Closes:Open-ended


Reach Beyond

Counsellor for listeners of Spanish radio station HCJB in Quito, Ecuador

Opportunity Details

Location:SpainFinance:Personal SupportDuration:Over 12 months, Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Administration, Relief & DevelopmentPosted:28 May 2022Closes:Open-ended

Refugee and Immigrant Outreach Coordinator

Reach Beyond

A person to develop and coordinate work among refugees in southern Europe.

Opportunity Details

Location:KenyaFinance:Personal Support, VoluntaryDuration:Less than 3 months, 3‑12 monthsActivity:Relief & DevelopmentPosted:27 May 2022Closes:Open-ended

Trauma Counsellor, Community Development & Teacher Placement Opportunities

Christians Abroad

Kitengela is the home of our Partner HQ, which provides an excellent team base to volunteer from – refugee response, agricultural community development & teacher placements.

Job Details

Location:WitneyFinance:Salary/AllowanceDuration:Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Administration, Church Related, Finance & Fundraising, Marketing, Prayer & SpiritualPosted:27 May 2022Closes:24 Jun 2022

Marketing Project Manager

Open Doors UK&I

We have an exciting opportunity for a Marketing Project Manager to join our expanding marketing team.

Job Details

Location:WitneyFinance:Salary/AllowanceDuration:Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Administration, Finance & Fundraising, Leadership & Management, Marketing, Media & CommunicationsPosted:27 May 2022Closes:24 Jun 2022

Senior Marketing Manager

Open Doors UK&I

We have an exciting opportunity for a Senior Marketing Manager to manage our growing marketing team.

Job Details

Location:SwitzerlandFinance:Salary/AllowanceDuration:Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Church Related, Leadership & ManagementPosted:27 May 2022Closes:Open-ended

Pastor for International Church

RiverLife Church 

RiverLife Church in Bern, Switzerland (English speaking) is seeking a new Senior Pastor (or Senior Pastors, if husband and wife share this job) from Autumn 2022.

Job Details

Location:TonbridgeFinance:Salary/AllowanceDuration:Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Children & Youth, Leadership & Management, Sports & LeisurePosted:27 May 2022Closes:27 Jun 2022

Chief Instructor, Carroty Wood, Kent

Rock UK

Are you passionate about helping children build confidence through the experience of outdoor adventure? 

Job Details

Location:WitneyFinance:Salary/AllowanceDuration:Open‑ended / PermanentActivity:Administration, Church Related, Events & Networking, Finance & Fundraising, Prayer & SpiritualPosted:27 May 2022Closes:20 Jun 2022

Partnerships Coordinator

Open Doors UK&I

To support the Partnerships and Legacies Team (Major Donors, Trusts and Legacy giving) by managing the administr

Faith Job Requirements

Are you a good fit for a faith-based job.

The fact that you are interested in obtaining faith-oriented employment may be a good indicator that you are fit for this career path.

The bigger question may be which job, rather than if you should pursue one. Each job requires different skills and comes with its own set of challenges. However, as mentioned before, one overriding factor that must be in place is a strong faith. Whether you are thinking of becoming a member of clergy or simply continuing your current occupation for a faith-based employer, a guiding, well-practiced faith must be a big part of your life.

Members of Clergy

All faiths include a leader or coordinator of some kind, whether that is a priest, elder, pastor, rabbi, cantor, or director. These positions make up the clergy. In addition, some faiths also hire music directors, youth leaders, and similar personnel who are also considered part of the clergy. Members of clergy are expected to do more than just lead the congregation in worship. They are also expected to perform pastoral care and direct the spiritual growth and understanding of the congregants. This means two things: you will be working closely with people, and you will be called to work at odd hours of the day or night. For this reason, clergy members should not just have a strong faith, but a genuine desire to help others. Clergy members should also have strong communication and leadership skills. And when it comes to those odd hours, if you are the kind of person that likes structure, a routine, and set work hours, you may want to reconsider this career path. Clergy members must be able to get to a hospital or congregant’s home when an emergency arises, even if it is in the middle of the night. Patience is also a much needed characteristic for these employees.

Many clergy members are expected to have or obtain advanced educational degrees, such as a master’s degree in Theology, or in the Jewish faith, attend a Jewish theological school or seminary.

Requirements for Other Faith-based Jobs

In addition to clergy positions, there are a multitude of jobs available.

Some of the more prevalent jobs include camp directors and counselors, ministry and mission directors, faith-based non-profit organization leaders and workers, licensed counselors, chaplains at hospitals, prisons, and other establishments, and teachers. 

As you read through this list (and it certainly isn’t an exhaustive one), the common element of each job is that it is a “people” job: each worker will be working closely with clients and other constituents on a daily basis. If you are not a “people person” it does not mean you should not obtain a faith-based job. It simply means you’ll either need to develop your people skills, or look harder for a different kind of faith-based job that is not as people-intensive. For example, if you love working with numbers and have experience as an accountant, you can choose to become an accountant for a ministry, church, or non-profit organization or school. However, for the vast majority of religious jobs, you’ll need to have good people and communication skills, and be able to get along well with many kinds of people. If this does not describe you, a faith-based career may not be for you.

Faith based Sector.

Religious Jobs

The Internet is a marvellous technological revolution and thanks to other new telecommunications technologies, businesses are becoming more specialized.

Many new small businesses in different business sector’s are plentiful as people are down-sized and discover an untapped niche. This trend also holds true when it comes to faith-based careers and businesses. People looking to work for a faith-based company have more choices today than ever before.

While most people think of the traditional faith-based jobs such as pastoral work, youth minister, camp counselors, etc, others are finding that the reach of religion oriented jobs is much wider. Whether you are an accountant, lawyer, or work in many other professional or non-professional fields, you can find employment at a faith-based organization. This is true for many of the faiths people practice today.

So what is Temple Mogic’s definition of a faith-based or religious job?

A faith-based job is one in which the person that holds it (or is hired for it) should have a strong and active faith (among other job-related qualifications). While employers cannot discriminate among prospective or current employees on the basis of their chosen faiths, most faith-based employers typically produce a product or service related to that faith, and therefore employees working on that product or service should be knowledgeable of that faith. In the case of support personnel, such as accountants, administrative representatives, etc, this type of knowledge isn’t as critical, but these employers expect their employees to adhere to faith-based business principals.

People of all educational levels can find rewarding careers with faith-based organizations. You don’t have to have a degree in theology for every faith-based job. What you should have, is a deep faith that helps guide your day to day decisions, whether that faith is Christian, non-denominational, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, or any other religion

“Praise him with tambourine and dance;

Hello my friend, I hope you are doing well this day.

I wanted to share some of my favourite passages of the Bible, these passages inspire me and help me to remember how to worship the Lord.

Words which stand out for me in the follow passages are “dance, praise, everlasting steadfast love, sleep, desolate places to pray”.

These words help me to remember my devotion to God and how to draw closer to him.

Psalm 150:4 Praise him with tambourine and dance;

praise him with strings and pipe! | English Standard Version 2016 (ESV) | Download The Bible App Now

“Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!”

Psalm 150:4 ESV

Psalm 103:17 But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him,

and his righteousness to children’s children | English Standard Version 2016 (ESV) | Download The Bible App Now

“But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children,”

Psalm 103:17 ESV

“A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.”

Proverbs 24:33-34 ESV

“But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.”

Luke 5:16 ESV

When I see these words within my devotional practice, I’m drawn to an ancient spiritual practice known as Bhakti.

What is Bhakti?


Bhakti: The Way of Devotion

Bhakti – devotion to the divine – is based on another interpretation of Vedanta: that the soul and the Divine are not One, but inexpressibly, mysteriously, both One and distinct, allowing for a relationship of love. This loving devotion, bhakti, is expressed through songs, hymns, offerings, dances, and plays.

Where an image of the divine is present and loving worship upon that image is sought, singing, dancing and praising the divine, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is forever in our hearts and whose presence grows stronger throughout proper practice and offerings to him.

Notice how the Lord works through you after your devotional practice, bringing about solutions to your unconscious mind while you sleep.

If this works for you, don’t forget to share it with others, either by attending a spiritual ceremony, or group and testifying how the love of Christ was present within you while you performed your strict devotion to him.

Peace and blessings to you Amen.

Christ is Medicine, our salvation.

While attending Mass and listening to the Gospel, you may notice links between the Old Testament and the New Testament. Where Christ reveals what had been ‘hidden’ since the creation of the world. How he also fulfilled what was written in scripture, and scripture itself is proof that Christ was to come, exactly as he did, to fulfil its promises.

Where ancient Scribes brought from the treasury New and Old, demonstrating this ability to link the new and Old Testament in such a way that the reader is in no doubt that Christ fulfilled scripture. The ‘Treasury’ is the whole Bible

There are dozens and dozens of Biblical example of this, while few given here where Moses being commanded by God to raise a Bronze serpent on a staff to be ‘looked upon’ by the people for their ‘salvation’. Christ fulfils this role in the New Testament as the one ‘raised up’, to be looked upon for the salvation of all mankind.

In Zechariah we hear of the ‘fountain’ to cleanse sin, and the ‘mourning for the One pierced’.

It goes deeper in the 2nd half in Zechariah to talk about ‘The Shepherd’, ‘The Covenant’, and ‘The price of a Man’. When Christ breathed his last on The Cross, the Veil of the temple was torn in two.

This was to fulfil the scripture of the breaking of The Covenant between God and Israel. Salvation came from the Jews, but God was no longer present among the people in the Ark of the Covenant, in the ‘Holy of Holies’. The two staffs in Zechariah were Broken, thus breaking the covenants.

The New Covenant was with Christ (The worthy One from Revelation 5), and was for All Peoples.

In Zechariah we also find the 30 pieces of silver, the price of a Man. It was no accident that Pontus Pilate said ‘behold, I give you the Man (Ecce Homo). In Zechariah we see the 30 pieces ‘cast into the treasury’ in the house of The Lord. When Judas tried to atone for his sins, he tried to get the high priest to take back the 30 pieces of silver. He cast the 30 pieces into the temple, the house of The Lord, for it to be put back in the treasury. The Chief priests could not put blood money back in the treasury, and purchased the potters field. Again, Christ fulfilled all that was written about in scripture.

While the key themes here are this, Christ came to reveal what was hidden since the beginning of time. He alone fulfils what is written in scripture. His atonement was pure and perfect, and He alone could satisfy the Justice required by God for the sin of all mankind. This perfect and Holy sacrificed restored mankind to God. God no longer dwelt among the people in the Holy of Holies. Christ became worthy (Revelation 5) to receive All Power, Glory, and Honour. He alone could open the scroll. Through him we now come to the Father, redeemed by Christ. His dwelling place is within us (You are no longer your own. You were purchased/ransomed for a heavy price). That is why confessions are so important (The cleansing of the bodily temple), and receiving Christ in The Holy Eucharist. Christ tells us that we cannot have life within us unless we eat and drink of His flesh.

|Luke 13 | The parable of the fig tree |

This passage that is found only in Luke is part of a larger section devoted to the theme of vigilance and readiness (see Luke 12:54 – 59).

This account is composed of two parts. The first part (vv 1-5) stresses the need for universal repentance. The second part (vv 6-9), the parable of the fig tree, emphasises the possibility of mercy for those who repent in time.

There is some historical basis for the reference to Pilate’s treatment of the Galileans. In any event, Jesus does not accept the view that the faith of the Galileans equals their guilt.

To bolster his argument, Jesus cites the example of the 18 killed at Siloam. What does emerge, however, is the constant need to reform. Similarly, the parable of the fig tree shows that repentance must occur now, for tomorrow may be too late.

For Luke’s community, the words of Jesus point out the implications of their Christian call.

They have to be ever alert and hence ever willing to renew their original Christian commitment in following Jesus.

Luke 13.

1 “There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices”.

2 “And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things”?

3 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”.

4 “Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloah fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem”?

5 “I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish”.

6 “He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none”.

7 “Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground”?

8 “And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it”:

9 “And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down”.

The Barren Fig Tree.

Some people told Jesus about an uprising of Galileans in the Tenple Court and how Pilate’s soldiers slaughtered them there and then. We do not know what motives the people had for telling Jesus about this. However, Jesus uses the story to drive home the lesson that allof us, without exception, are sinners and in urgent need of repentance. The Galileans killed by Pilate are not more deserving of their gruesome fate than other Galileans, including those listening to Jesus.

They were not more sinful than others.
Their untimely death should serve as a warning of what can happen to us unless we turn to God and change our ways.

To further emphasise the point, Jesus tells the parable of the fig tree. In the OT Israel is frequently likened to God’s vineyard, which makes this parable a pointed reference to his immediate listeners. Just as the fig tree is given a final chance, a period of grace, to bear fruit, so people are given time to repent and reform. In the period of persecution during which Luke is writing, these passages of his Gospel are reminders to Christians that they must persevere in living lives of faith and repentance. There is no room for self-complacency. The ‘time of grace’ given us must be used fruitfully.

What is the holy Trinity?

The holy spirit Is three divine aspects of God the Father in one.

Three aspects of God the Father within and around us which interact within our lives, guiding us.

So there is God the Father who we look up to and Jesus Christ who we try to walk in the footsteps of and do good for others and then there is the holy spirit who corrects our actions and thinking.

The Trinity is like an egg. Just as ONE egg has THREE different parts – the shell, the white, the yoke – ONE God has THREE different Persons – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Similarly, we often hear the Trinity compared to an Apple. ONE apple has three different parts – the skin, the flesh, and the seed.

For the majority of Christian denominations, the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and is Almighty God. As such he is personal and also fully God, co-equal and co-eternal with God the Father and Son of God.

Why is the trinity important?

The Trinity is important as it helps Christians to understand the complex nature of God. The belief in The Trinity is a central doctrine of Christianity. The three persons of the Trinity teach Christians better about the nature of God and the roles he plays.

The Christian doctrine of the Trinity, in  Latin translates as Trinitas, lit. ’triad’, originating from Latin: trinus meaning  “threefold” where it defines God as being one god existing in three coequal, coeternal, consubstantial 
divine persons.

Being God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ) and God the Holy Spirit, three distinct persons sharing one homoousion, essence.

In this way, the three persons define who God is, while the one essence defines what God is.

The old Testament.

The Old Testament has been interpreted as referring to the Trinity by referring to God’s word (Psalm 33:6), his spirit (Isaiah 61:1), and Wisdom (Proverbs 9:1), as well as narratives such as the appearance of the three men to Abraham.

However, it is generally agreed among Trinitarian Christian scholars that it would go beyond the intention and spirit of the Old Testament to correlate these notions directly with later Trinitarian doctrine.

How does the Trinity affect our lives?

So we must become a people of love. Our lives reflect the Trinity. … And the Holy Spirit, the love between the Father and the Son, makes us holy. The Holy Spirit makes possible the wholeness or oneness in us to enable Christ to work through us.

Why is Jesus important in the trinity?

God the Son helps Christians to understand how God makes his love known in the world. Jesus spread teachings of compassion and healed people who were sick. The life of Jesus, as described in the Gospels , also demonstrates that sacrifice and suffering are important parts of the human experience.

What is the difference between God and Jesus and the Holy spirit?

God is a spirit ( according to scriptures) whereas Jesus himself declared not to be a spirit rather he considered himself human with flesh and bones. God is said to have unlimited knowledge while Jesus being a person is said to limited knowledge.

Jesus is Tempted in the Desert. Mark (1:12 – 15)

The author Mark clearly links Jesus ‘temptation in the desert with the baptism. There, Jesus experiences the divine world in the communication from the Father. In the temptation, however, he is in the desert or wilderness, I.e., the demonic world, the traditional haunt of the evil forces. Forty days’ suggests a link with the 40 years of Israel’s wandering in the desert or wilderness.

Whereas Israel failed during that period, here Jesus succeeds. The author also seems to imply a certain messianic element in this scene, namely, the type of messiahship Jesus would embrace. Jesus thus begins his battle with Satan and the powers of evil. His death and subsequent resurrection will resolve the form of his messiahship and his relationship to the powers of evil.

In the conclusion of this passage the author begins the account of the public ministry of Jesus with a summary. He noted the fate of the Baptist and suggests that the Cross cannot be divorced from a consideration of the person and mission of Jesus. In Jesus, God’s Kingdom, I.e., his providing for the needs of his people, has finally dawned. In Jesus, the new age has begun.

The audience is thus invited to adopt a new way of thinking that will lead to a new way of acting (‘repentance’) and put their trust in the good news of salvation that comes in the person of Jesus. Mark thus presents a Jesus bound up with the world of chaos. Satan and the powers of evil personify that chaos, one that brings in its wake human sickness, perversion, and isolation. The task of Jesus is to overcome such chaotic forces.

The struggle in the desert or wilderness is the beginning of Jesus’ containing of chaos. He proceeds to offset such chaos by proclaiming hope in the form of the kingdom of God, God’s definitive intervention in which he will provide for all the needs of his people. The person of Jesus is God’s finest expression of hope for a choice world.

Prologue: The beginning of the Good News.

John the Baptist Announces the Coming One (1:1 – 8).

This passage marks the beginning of Mark’s message for his distraught community. The story of Jesus can now unfold with the proclamation of John the Baptist.

The audience is to learn that neither the formidable power of evil nor the crushing brutality of the powers-that-be will enjoy the last word.

The Baptist senses God’s presence in the person of Jesus. He also understands his own mission in terms of precursor – he is to prepare the way of the Lord.
Specifically, he prepares the people for the arrival of ‘one mightier ‘ than he by proclamation of radical conversion. He proceeds to demonstrate the seriousness of his intent by appearing in the guise of Elijah (camel’s hair clothing and leather belt). He emphasises the centrality of Jesus by seeing himself only in the role of a herald. Jesus, not he, is to occupy centre stage.

The Jesus of Mark.

The setting of the Gospel of Mark.

Since the author of this Gospel has not provided any firm date or clear background for this composition, the interpreter is compelled to look for clues that may suggest some probable answers.

From an overall reading of the text one encounters a community that has endured persecution from without and division from within. Right from the opening chapter the Cross casts it’s unmistakable shadow over the entire work. For example, John the Baptist preaches and is handed over or arrested.
Thereafter, Jesus and subsequent believer’s experience the same fate.

The theme of division among Jesus’ disciples also plays a prominent role in the work. In addition, persecutions figure significantly in the gospel.

When one puts all these observations together, there surface images of an early Christian community that has endured pain for the name of Jesus and most likely was anticipating more suffering.

A likely setting for the writing of the gospel is the persecution of Christians. Under Nero because of the great fire of 64 A.D. In order to shift blame from himself for the fire, Nero attributed the conflagration to Roman Christians.

The Roman historian Tacitus relates that Nero had Christians arrested and then convicted. He also imposed harsh punishments on those convicted.

To make matters worse, Christians betray fellow Christians.

Apostasy was rife indeed.

The author of Mark probably writes his gospel around the year 70 A.D.

(This was also the year in which the Romans utterly destroyed the Jewish temple in Jerusalem.)

He clearly demonstrates that Christian discipleship and suffering go hand in hand.

To accept the message of Jesus is to embrace the cross. The Jesus Mark is undeniably the suffering Messiah.

As Jesus unequivocally states in 8:31, ‘the Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise after three days, ‘Ironically, the infidelity of the disciples in this Gospel, notably Peter, becomes good news for those who experience failure, especially apostasy. Like Peter, they are called to repentance and reconciliation.

The Cross points to the empty tomb.