Mark 1:1-15 Wilderness Wandering – The right time has come (GNT)
This is the Good News about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
It began as the prophet Isaiah had written:
“God said, ‘I will send my messenger ahead of you
to open the way for you.’
Someone is shouting in the desert,
‘Get the road ready for the Lord;
make a straight path for him to travel!’”
So John appeared in the desert, baptizing and preaching. “Turn away from your sins and be baptized,” he told the people, “and God will forgive your sins.” Many people from the province of Judea and the city of Jerusalem went out to hear John. They confessed their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.
John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. He announced to the people, “The man who will come after me is much greater than I am. I am not good enough even to bend down and untie his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Not long afterward Jesus came from Nazareth in the province of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, he saw heaven opening and the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.”
At once the Spirit made him go into the desert, where he stayed forty days, being tempted by Satan. Wild animals were there also, but angels came and helped him.
After John had been put in prison, Jesus went to Galilee and preached the Good News from God.
Turn away from your sins and believe the Good News!”
Two key themes in faith and life arise here. Baptism reminds us that we are God’s children, known and washed with the love of God that cleanses our souls. Wilderness wandering is part of every human story. Our faith helps us acknowledged these seasons and companion through them with God. The hardest wilderness wanderings haunt our days, are hard to overcome alone and may be unrelenting, unresolvable or unsolvable. The temptation to hold on to niggling self-doubt, argumentative thinking, anger, distress, blame and not hear the truth, bring exhaustion from worry and a focus on uncertainty. We pretend all is okay, when actually, we are really wounded. When stilled at a time of prayerful recognition of vulnerability, we hear God, the Spirit’s song, and Companioning Jesus reaches out a hand of welcome, and walks alongside us.
This Lenten tide, let us hear the words of Jesus “The right time has come”, recognise our need to be wandering and wondering, ignore the temptation to dismiss the reality of our days and open our hearts, our vulnerable souls, be clear of thought, and give up tempting self-doubt so we find the strength to walk through the wilderness.
Please pray with me….
From sharing home in a stable and being a refugee in flight,
you were present with us
as one of the homeless, alone, vulnerable souls,
seeking a place of belonging and peace.
You came to be baptised as one of many,
and were called into a wilderness,
wandering and wondering as you listened to God’s calling.
This Lenten tide, may we who are feeling vulnerable,
alone and looking for a space to belong again,
listen carefully and deeply,
as we wander and wonder with you in prayer. Amen
© Rev Anne Hewitt, 24/02/2021
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