The Beginning of the Galilean Ministry
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.’
Devotion by Anne Mooney
This brief scripture brings more questions to my mind than answers. Quite frankly, if I were living in the time of Jesus and all I heard him say was, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news,” I would want to hear more information. What time? What kingdom of God? What does the “kingdom of God” mean? Why do I need to repent? What is the good news? I have to admit, my curiosity is up. I want to know more about what this Jesus person is talking about.
Today I do not have the luxury of following Jesus around to hear what he has to say, but I do have the gift of our scriptures. Mark and others have graciously taken the time to write down the story of Jesus and his ministry. I can read what they have to say and study their passages to determine for myself what the good news is.
I have spent my lifetime growing up in the shadow and embrace of the Christian church. When I was very young, the kingdom of God was simple. It meant to love everyone like God and Jesus loved me. Later I heard about being “saved.” The kingdom of God now seemed to be more like a place to go when I died…Heaven. Maybe it meant Jesus would one day return to Earth and rule over us so we would have Heaven on Earth, but only if we were “saved.” I equated being saved with the word repent.
As I grew up, I began to struggle with the “saved” theology. Ultimately I found my way to PUCC where I have been able to ask questions and hear some different ideas about the Kingdom of God. I seem to be back where I started. The Good News is simple. God loves me. Jesus loves me. My job is love everyone and creation like God and Jesus love. The Kingdom of God is here right now when we love.
Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to show us how to love each other. Help me love like you and Jesus. Amen.