Sunday Weekly Reflections

21.02.21 – “Quite a Stretch”

Mark 1: 9-15

9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved;* with you I am well pleased.’ 12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. 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.’*

Reflection on the Gospel

There are so many comings and goings here; so much movement. Look through the text again and see how Jesus is coming from Nazareth, coming up from the water, and coming to Galilee again. John has just come from the wilderness to fulfill his ministry of preparing the way of Jesus, who in turn is driven into the same wilderness. At the centre Jesus goes down into the water, and comes up to see the Spirit coming down upon him.

So much movement it is quite dizzying.

There is one other movement however. That is the movement of the people back towards God, people like you and me, making their way out to the river Jordan, seeking to come back closer to God, to own their frailty and ask for mercy, and faithful lives.

This is the moment Jesus discerns he will leave Nazareth, his home for 30 years and begin the mission he has nurtured and prayed about. This is how he chooses to begin. Zero publicity relations. He just turns up alongside people in their humanity, searching for God. He joins the queue.

No matter how often I think about this, or write this, I am still shocked by the humility and love of Jesus.

This Lent, when we are moved and stirred to seek God, and an authentic life of prayer and service, and when we are moved by the suffering of others and the needs of the world…he is there. He just turns up. This is where he began his ministry, and this is where our discipleship still begins.

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