January 23, 2000

Mark 1:14-20 (CEV)

After John [the Baptist] was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee and told the good news that comes from God. He said, "The time has come! God's kingdom will soon be here. Turn back to God and believe the good news!"

As Jesus was walking along the shore of Lake Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew. They were fishermen and were casting their nets into the lake. Jesus said to them, "Come with me! I will teach you how to bring in people instead of fish." Right then the two brothers dropped their nets and went with him.

Jesus walked on and soon saw James and John, the sons of Zebedee. They were in a boat, mending their nets. At once Jesus asked them to come with him. They left their father in the boat with the hired workers and went with him.


1. The first message is not about believing "this" or "that." The first message is a perception, an awareness, a bone-deep understanding - God's realm is here. Since this is the case, it makes sense to change your life to get in line with reality. This change is not something we do in order to earn something, but simply to align our self with the best news available.

2. With echoes of "The time has come!" alive and well and loose in the world it is easier to hear a simple "Come!" The echo of good news lets us see how images of ministry abound in every event, even a simply one like fishing. If Simon and Andrew were carpenters Jesus might have said, "I will teach you to construct habitats for humanity and not just rooms for pay." How might Jesus change your everyday work with an image consistent with a present realm of God?

3. The time has come to reshape our image of family. The realm of God is not based on the model of a nuclear family. It is not based on parental authority or family business. We will find it based on mutual care for each other. How does your image of family need to expand? What about single folk, orphans, same-gender partners, widows, and the list goes on? To be part of God's realm is to reorient our lives in relationship to one another. The time has come!

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