Last Sunday we heard the first words of Jesus in the Gospel of John “what are you looking for?” Such a powerful question that continues to haunt us. Today we hear the first words of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark.
After John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee proclaiming the GOOD NEWS, saying: “The time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” These are the very first words spoken by Jesus. In Matthew “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has come near.”
There is a sacred, holy dimension to all of life to all of human life. Before anything else, you belong. Creation is loaded with an affirmation. We wander off the path. Things we do to each other. We belong + identify with tribes that vilify other tribes. There is a moment when you realise being off the path in the deep weeds or the dark forest or the swampy ground is not good. All of us are on a path. But we wander off.
T’Shuvah is the thing that we do when we realise being off the path is not healthy or helpful or life-giving. This is the moment when we turn away from the wrong choices + decisions + hurtful words that only causes pain, addiction, heartbreak, betrayal, destruction. This takes seriously both our goodness and our capacity to do evil, to make a mess + cause a wrong.
Jesus is Jewish and a rabbi. He knows that the story does not begin with condemnation, but begins with the blessing of the goodness of all creation. Begins with an affirmation of T ‘Shuvah!
Your goodness. You bear an image of the divine. Before anything else you are blessed!
T’Shuvah is the moment when you realise and remember that life back on the the path is good. So you turn back. You have a new mind. That is what the Greek word metanoite means – to change our minds. To have our minds renewed by the bigger, more glorious picture that God wants to provide us with. You awaken to what is truly good. You already bear the image of the divine.
Sunday 03, Year B. Mark 1:14-20