Third Sunday after the Epiphany – Year B

Mark 1:14-20

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,

1:15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”

1:16 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.

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Beyond Guilt

The Kingdom of Heaven coming near is the beginning of God’s new creation where God can come and dwell with His people forever.

In other words, the party has already started, and we are all invited whether we are attuned to that reality or not.

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The Only Path Forward

Jesus’ first miracle is to keep a party going. As far as first impressions are concerned, wouldn’t it have made more sense to give sight to someone born blind, or cast out some demons?

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A local Pastor was telling me about her neighbors’ reaction to a proposed winter shelter. It was set to be located in a large and currently empty community center in their affluent neighborhood.

Every year in the Pacific Northwest winter, unsheltered neighbors die of exposure to the cold—the shelter will offer a simple place to sleep during the hardest months. But on this neighborhood’s local social media pages, in the press, on the TV news, and in government hearings, compassion was hard to find.

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Team Jesus

It’s when we’ve done just about all we can do to screw things up and yet still discover ourselves loved, forgiven and trusted at our most untrustworthy worst, that the Spirit is fully unleashed.

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The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me

Yes, the whole world is a burning bush ablaze with God’s glory, if we can only see it, calling us to join the wildly liberating work of God among the poor, the captives, the blind and the oppressed. If this isn’t cause for celebration, it’s probably because we don’t easily identify ourselves as poor, captive, blind or oppressed.

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Right Time Moments

During the season of Epiphany, I’ve committed to be more aware of the ways that God is present and at work in and around me each day.

Here’s a snapshot of what I’ve seen three weeks into Epiphany:
I performed two memorial services—both for young men in our community who died unexpectedly, literally leaving hundreds of people stunned and in horrible, excruciating grief.

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What About Church Out Here?

One Sunday afternoon, I was driving through the neighborhood with a car full of local kids that were a part of our ministry. We pulled up to a four way…

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Anointed for What?

Last week we witnessed Jesus’ first miracle (water becomes wine). It ends well. This week we hear Jesus’ first sermon. It ends horribly. His text is Isaiah 61:1-2a. His sermon…

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Leaving Our Nets

This week we read of four fisherman Jesus encounters while strolling along the shores of the Sea of Galilee (Mark 1:14-20). We don’t know if these hardworking fishing professionals have ever even heard an actual sermon from Jesus. It seems that Jesus’s preaching in Galilee was finished prior to this encounter on the shore.

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