The Promised Nearness

Mark 1:14-20 – The 3rd Sunday after Epiphany – for January 25, 2015

“Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom. Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!” (Mark 1:15)

I did not answer the nurse’s question.

She shared more about God’s judgment.

I listened.

She shared more about God’s judgment.

I then responded to the most neutral of the hospice nurse’s comments—the vintage trope that God’s ways were mysterious—with an equally banal affirmation that each person was different. She nodded like we were fellow conspirators.

She returned to her work; I returned to mine.

Such a coward I was. Wasn’t I?

Though busy with making notes from a hospice meeting, and facing a list of names to call for my work in the ministry of bereavement, earlier that morning I’d read the Gospel of Mark’s declaration by Jesus: “Now is the time! Here comes God’s kingdom. Change your hearts and lives, and trust this good news!”

What did the Jesus of Mark’s gospel mean by the nearness of “God’s Kingdom?”

Is now the time of change? And what change will come to your—or my—hearts and lives? Continue reading →