The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight'”
The beginning of this “good news” according to Mark is a blaring alarm. You know the obnoxious, grating kind that jackhammers right into your dreams? Or worse, the roommate who flips on all the lights, shakes the bed, and yanks off the covers?
Ugh what time is it anyway? Just give me another 20 minutes, c’mon. Why not? This had better be good.
Over the next couple months, the lectionary will take us on a tour of the openings of each of the four Gospels. Each has its unique flavor and tone. Other gospels nudge us with at least softer wake-up music, or a kiss.
In Mark we get a smelly guy yelling – dressed like a nutcase. Right from the opening verses.
“Repent!” Literally, “get a different mind!” Wake up! Rub the sleep boogers out of your eyes. Splash some water if that’s what it takes. Brew a strong cup. Yes this is going to be good, and you’re going to miss it in the state you’re in.
No time to take this slow. Been slumbering for way too long already. Let’s get moving! We’ll figure the meaning out (or not) as we go. The first chapter of Mark alone has nine different stories of Jesus, some of which get whole chapters in other Gospels.
This is Mark’s way of announcing Good News. It’s not the only way, as we’ll see. But for some of us, and some of our communities stuck in ruts, it’s a much-needed way.
Qs: Could it be the way that is most needed in your context now? What alarms are already going off, announcing Good News in ways you might even overlook as such?