Monday, January 19, 2009

Mark 1:14-20

Epiphany 3 – Year B

Mark 1:14-20

Time is always fulfilled or redeemed. It don't get any fuller than "now!" Deemed or redeemed – now is now. The presence of G*D is always eschatologically present. This is a truism Jesus and many have affirmed down through time.

A trickier part is the relationship between repentance and good news. Following on John, Jesus starts with repentance as the initiating action. This then leads to or reveals good news.

This repentance first policy works for many people. However, it is interesting to note that, if you posit Jesus doing a cold call on Simon and Andrew, the first word he says to them is about good news – that they will learn to "catch men and women instead of perch and bass" [The Message]. Only later will they find out that they will need to learn repentance, prayer, and mercy to fulfill this new life they now sense rising within them.

Of course we can imagine that Simon and Andrew had heard or heard of Jesus and the repentance first message he is reported to have continued from John. In this case there may have been some repentance work that went on previously that had opened Simon and Andrew to actually follow.

A tension of preaching repentance and recruiting based on good news has the most appeal this day of remembrance of Martin Luther King, Jr. It reminds us of a long line of saints who have helped us refine issues of nonviolence. A reality-of-brokenness and a hope-of-better is a productive pairing.

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