Sunday, March 15, 2009

Why Would Jesus Say That?

Lenten Thoughts 2009

"The kingdom of God has come near." Mark 1:15

The northern lights are explainable, or so we're told. The solar winds create magnetic energy, which becomes visible at the poles on planet earth. The northern hemisphere experiences the aurora borealis; the southern hemisphere, the aurora australis. This is the abbreviated scientific description.

To actually experience the northern lights is a different story. You step outside on a crackling cold winter night or look skyward on a late summer canoe trip. Above you is a cosmic dance, mystical and unforgettable. it leaves you with a goofy grin that has little to do with textbook explanations of what you’ve witnessed. You’ll remember it for a lifetime.

Is Jesus such a unique moment of spiritual energy for the planet? It sounds a little simplistic to put it this way, yet everything about Jesus confirms that it is so. At the beginning of Mark's gospel, Jesus says: "The kingdom of God has come near." He is not speaking of any conventional form of monarchy or of a God made in our own image.

Jesus uses every trick in the book to pique people's desire to see and hear good news about God. Parables, healings, a wine-tasting, even a temple tantrum. Still, in the gospels, it is clear that this is only part of what his presence represents. It isn't just his exhortations or actions that matter. Jesus himself is both earthly and heavenly. Jesus embodies God's realm in ways that defy conventional understanding. He is in the line of the prophets, yet he is more than just a prophetic voice.

When Jesus stands before you, nothing can be the same again. Jesus is the aurora if you'll allow him to be—and even if you won't. He is our salvation. In Jesus the Christ, time if fulfilled and the kingdom of God has come near.

Meditation by David Mundy

Where have you seen the Kingdom of God coming near?

What changed for you after that experience?

Send your answers or other thoughts to me by email or the comment area below where they will be available to everyone. There are no wrong answers.

Peace, Rev. Arty Miller