Everything I Needed to Learn about Mark’s Gospel I Learned from Watching Smokey and the Bandit


1. The Good Guys are always in a hurry to get on to the next thing. Whether it is Texarkana, Capernaum, Atlanta, or Jerusalem.  The mission of the Kingdom of God is important.  We have got to keep moving.

2. Jesus turned water into wine. Bandit brought 400 cases of Coors beer. Each man knew what it took to keep the party going.

3. The bad guys never gave up trying to catch them on the finer points of the law.

4. Jesus had Peter. Bandit had Cletus. We all need someone like Jerry Reed as our right hand apostle.

5. Sometimes you’ve got to break the law to save the day. This may mean working on the Sabbath or speeding down a back road.

6. You will get there in the end.

7. Depending on other people is crucial. Without your Mary Magdalene, Carrie, Cletus, and others you will never make to the fairgrounds on time. All of the disciples help get you where you need to be and when you need to be there. No Bandit is a solo act.  Disciples work together.

8. The bad guys don’t play fair. Be prepared for anything.  The temptation story is brief in Mark’s gospel but it’s still there.  All that beer in the back of Cletus’ truck could have gone elsewhere.  Temptation and obstruction come in many forms.

9. You need a theme tune. Songs help everything. Let your song be succinct and tell exactly what you’re doing. There’s no doubt, we are heaven bound and down. Has anyone seen my hymnal?

10. Jesus walked everywhere and didn’t have a black Pontiac Trans-Am. If he had, Mark’s gospel would have moved even faster. There’s no time to waste. The kingdom of God is here and now. And Jesus, oh my Lord, he would have out run every Smokey!

*The Gospel Lectionary Texts for this season are from Mark’s gospel.