God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Beginning:

The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 1

 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.                                                                                      Mark 1:1
       The beginning - the Genesis. This is where it starts. As the bible starts with God creating everything that is known and is good. We are invited to enter the story and remember the beginning. This is a new story, a new beginning, it is good. As we start this journey we are invited into a new type of story, a gospel - the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The Good News, the gospel - something that has come to be associated with the death and resurrection of Jesus, but here in Mark's story, we aren't to just focus on the end, for Mark doesn't end with resurrection it ends with mystery.  So this story is more than an end, the Good News is about Jesus Christ, Jesus the Anointed, Jesus the Son of God, Jesus, the Holy One.
       How do we enter this story? Before I spent time learning about the Gospel from David Rhoads at LSTC, I probably would have said I liked the Gospel of Mark's story the best because it was concise and bare bones. The story was simple and plain. I wouldn't have thought about why or the purpose behind the whole story.  I probably wouldn't have started a tradition of reading the Gospel as a best seller from beginning to end, once a year.  But I would have said it speaks to me.  But David Rhoads opened up the Gospel of Mark to me in ways that have changed how I read the story and how I understand the Gospel. Part of the intent of Mark's Gospel becomes clearer when we see the whole story from beginning to end, not just the little chunks we get during a bible study, a prayer journey, a year with Mark's Gospel. Dr. Rhoads challenged us to read the Gospel and hear its call. I invite you to do the same. Read this story from beginning to end. Let the words call and invite you into a journey of discipleship and join me as I spend time each day with a small part over which to ponder its story and prayer for direction. Read the Good News of Jesus Christ, the son of God from 1:1 to 16:8.  And then ask yourself what the Good News means.
       The Good news becomes a call to discipleship, a challenge to you the reader to enter the story after it has ended and take up its call.  The Good News shows us how God's Reign has drawn near.  We experience the healing power of God over sickness and evil. We experience the invitation to become part of the kingdom welcoming back into the community - tax collectors, sinners, women, gentiles, the sick, the excludes, the lost. Jesus teaches us how to live together and to create a relationship with God and with each other. The Good News teaches us to question and challenge the powerful, to challenge power with love.
     This story is an invitation to you.  Not only are you invited to hear the Good News, you are invited to take up the story, to become part of the story and share the Good News.
A path in Yellowstone National Park
Prayer Practice:
As you begin this prayer experience, I invite you to find a comfortable location to sit. Keep your back as straight as possible  so your breath can flow freely. As you breath in and out. Let your thoughts and worries begin to slide away. As they start to intrude are your thought see them as water and let them flow right back out. As you breath begin to picture a path, a road to follow. Allow yourself to take those first steps on the journey. Picture yourself moving along the path leading you closer to God. As you walk the path, continue to breath in and out. Allowing yourself to open up to the journey. When you are ready slowly open your eyes.

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