Mark 1:14-15 “Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Two great realities; two great responses.
Jesus declared that God’s timing has arrived and the kingdom of God is close by. Ever had that feeling? Ever felt that this was a time of special appointment in God’s providence? Ever felt touched by the nearness and the wonder of the kingdom of God? Wherever Christ appears, the kingdom of God breaks in.
We get to live in these two phenomenal realities. The Presence of Christ gives every moment significance, meaning, and purpose. Every moment involves a divine appointment, a divine opportunity, or a divine signature. And always, everywhere, the kingdom of God breaks forth like light in the darkness, around us and through us.
When we truly grasp these two great realities, they elicit two important responses. We repent and we believe.
Repentance refers not only to sin, but the choice to change the whole way we think. It’s a change of mind (metanoia); looking in a new direction. We resolve to look for that which we usually ignore; to spin around and look in a different direction and in a new way. We look behind and beyond the circumstances of our lives, seeking signs of Christ everywhere.
And we believe. We trust our lives to Christ.
Today, the time is fulfilled; plans are afoot that we have not considered. Today, the kingdom is at hand; the King stands beside and near us. Our only response, surely, is to turn around (repent) and step forth in complete trust (believe). As we do so, good news pours into us and through us like living water to a parched world.
Today is Ash Wednesday; Lent begins. Let’s ponder these two great realities and two great responses that marked the first message Jesus preached.