Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the Good News of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the Good News." Mark 1:14b-15
God came into this world, in the person of Jesus, with an offer that the kingdom was near and requesting all who could hear, to repent, to change their ways, to change their lives and to believe the Good News. He came with a radical message, a message which could change the lives of all who followed him. However, Jesus didn’t meet the many expectations of a Messiah and as a result many put off making a commitment.
Not much has changed today. How many of us are ready to risk everything to embrace Jesus’ example of humility and trust in God’s desires for their lives? Jesus’ request to forgive without expecting anything in return or Jesus’ commitment to justice for all, especially if it means risking everything we’ve ever worked for, whether it be our homes, our security or the acceptance of peers to go and do God’s bidding, all seem pretty daunting. We all know what the promise is, for that hasn’t changed in over 2000 years, but that fact still can’t seem to break through our needs to meet our own self-serving desires.
Advent/Epiphany is our annual call to stop putting off our commitment to follow Jesus. We don’t need to wait for a better time to pray, to forgive or to help the needy and the least among us. Each year, we are reminded to leave the old ways behind and enter the new year thinking, “Do not put it off one more minute. Change your lives and believe the message today.”
Knowing, what we might expect, helps us to experience and share God’s love every day and to become those beloved children God has been seeking for so long. Let us hear God’s
requests – whether it be in Scripture, prayer or acts of love and kindness towards each other and everyone God places in our path. We must always be prepared to respond to God’s gift to us when it is offered. For it is only when we risk making those changes, that we can experience the fulfillment of promise in our lives now.
This is why Christ came and risked everything, and this is what we have to gain. Yes, the kingdom is near, and it is time we believe the message!
May each of your days be blessed and your kingdom wishes fulfilled as you journey into this new year once again.