The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 4
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, 15and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’ Mark 1:13-15After spending time being tested, Jesus returns to Galilee. He begins preaching. Not a long sermon to explicate his theology, but a concise sermon that speaks the essential message Jesus wants people to hear. The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’ As you look around this is the time, the kingdom is present and being revealed. As Jesus touches and changes the lives of those who are ill, those who are outcast, those who are filled with evil, those who have been excluded from the community, those whose children cannot plead for themselves. The kingdom is being revealed with each step Jesus takes, with each word he speaks, with each touch of his presence. When we are seeking God, when we are searching for God's presence we need to look in those situations and places that reflect the places and people Jesus traveled. If you want to find God working in the world start hanging out with those who don't seem to matter - the undesirable, the unwanted. Search out the least, the last and the lost. Hang out with the children and throw a party. Host a dinner party where the guest list includes a person who is seeking help and the wealthiest person you know, the religious and the nones.
Jesus' next word to us is repent. A word that brings up images of big barns in the cornfield with the word painted in block letters. A word that brings up images of street preachers with their sign telling you the end is coming, repent. A word that reminds you of all the people who asked if you had been saved and didn't accept the form of Christianity you practice. When Jesus says repent, he isn't inviting you to express your regrets or be sorry for an action. Jesus is inviting you to change, to turn around, to turn back to God. This word repent is meant to invite you back into relationship with God. To turn from where you have been to God who is waiting for you to turn.
Jesus' final word is to believe the Good News. This is a word inviting us to actively participate in the unfolding story. To believe in the Gospel of Mark is to act. So here at the beginning of the story, we are invited to participate in the story. To listen as the story unfolds, so that you can believe, so that you can act as your response to the Good News you will have just heard.
Fix Me Jesus