TIME TO DECIDE
35 days to go or thereabouts until we celebrate the fact that death did not stop Our Lord in his tracks leaving us with just memories of another good and holy man who was judged a troublemaker and dealt with to protect the status quo. Instead to the amazement of his friends, Jesus returned to them, not like their other friend Lazarus and the widow’s son and the twelve year old girl all of whom Jesus raised to life. The Jesus whom they met on that first Easter Sunday morning was the same but different. The wounds on his body left no doubt as to his identity but he was no longer bound by the physical laws of this world. He could come and go as he pleased. He walked and talked with them, prepared meals and reassured them that with his rising to a new way of living something dramatically new was now part of the human story and would be forever.
To be the disciples Jesus wants us to be to let others know this new way of living is possible even now before the end of time when what happened to our Lord will happen to us, we set off on our Lenten journey. God has entered into a treaty agreement with us declaring that the divine love is aimed at bringing life not death. The destruction of the flood of the Noah and the ark story is a thing of the past never to happen again. The rainbow is the reminder of this divine treaty and promise.
On this first Sunday we see Jesus accepting the treaty and shaping his life accordingly. The gospel of Mark says a lot in very few verses. The Spirit drives Jesus out into an isolated place where he stays for 40 days. He is tempted by Satan, has wild beasts for company and is ministered to by angels. Temptations are not sins. Temptations are moments for decision. On his forty day wilderness experience (a cut down version as it were of the forty years the chosen people spent in the wilderness of Sinai before entering the land God promised them) with the help of the Spirit Jesus decides on the way he will do the task God gave him. God has anointed him for a divine task. What shape will his ministry take? From the other gospels we see Satan believed he could turn rocks into food, be unharmed if in danger and be so powerful that none could hold out against him. All very human notions and appealing. At the end of the time in the wilderness, with the help of the Spirit and the angels who are with us at all times, Jesus opts for the suffering servant he will do the Father’s will.
He begins his life’s work by calling people to repent, to look at their lives and make the changes needed to ratify the life-giving treaty God made with Noah and beyond. What is our decision? What changes does the Spirit and the angels help us see we need to make to live more fully and better than we do now? Just ask. God will help.
|Feb 26, 2015
|1st Sunday of Lent 22.02.2015