Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The Time Has Come

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat mending the nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee. Mark 1:14-28

In every old movie or television show where a woman is pregnant, she usually waltzes in to where her husband is and says with a smile, "honey, it's time." Real life doesn't work like that. There is often pain and confusion, and we can surely misread signs. The work of discernment is complicated and often confusing. We ask ourselves, "is this the time for a change, or am I doing the right thing?" Clergy are particularly conflict avoid-ant.  We don't' want to hurt anyone, but we feel in our hearts that God is calling us to do a new thing, to challenge the old ways and to unintentionally cause pain in those we love. And yet, we must say, "the time has come!" In these days when innocents are dying, it is really time to say, "it's time!"

Jesus has been finding his footing in his ministry. John has been arrested and it is his time to use the gifts he has been given. He first gathers some friends to help him and then, Jesus, still very human, goes to worship with his friends. It is the unstable person who sees most clearly who Jesus is, and shouts it out. The evil spirits say to Jesus, "it's time!" His time of healing is made real in this very conflicted and uncomfortable situation. God invites us today to discern in the midst of our great discomfort and to expect the Creator to show us who we truly are to be.

Today, I ask God to help me face the uncomfortable situations and see God's hand in the darkest places. May we all hear the invitation to use the gifts we have been given to help heal a very broken world.

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