Monday, March 10, 2014

First Tuesday in Lent

Psalm 48:9-10
9 We have thought on your steadfast love, O God,
            in the midst of your temple.
10 Your name, O God, like your praise,
            reaches to the ends of the earth.
Mark 1:14-28:  Mark tells of the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Following his baptism by John (and the subsequent arrest of the wilderness prophet) and after his solitary retreat to prayer and temptation in the desert, Jesus emerges with a radical new ministry of healing and controversial preaching. “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent,” says Jesus, “and believe in the good news.”
What emerges in this early phase will become more starkly clear over time. Already the outline of Jesus’ ministry becomes apparent. In calling his disciples he makes seemingly impossible demands. In preaching at the synagogue on the Sabbath, he challenges the law and its officers. In healing the sick he offers unfailing compassion.
Consider thinking of Jesus’ new ministry as a piece of cloth with three main qualities or dimensions. His demanding call to new disciples might be taken as the warp; his authoritative and controversial (even challenging) preaching of the good news on the Sabbath in the synagogue could be the weft. And what is the third part of this cloth? Surely it is the integrity of the whole, the cloth in its woven form, the love of Christ as demonstrated in healing through service that forms the outward and immediate expression of his love.
Psalm 48:12-14
12 Walk about Zion, go around it,
            count its towers,
13 consider well its ramparts;
            go through its citadels,
     that you may tell the next generation
14        that this is God,
     our God forever and ever.
            He will be our guide forever.
Bruce Carveth

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