March 12, 2000

Mark 1:9-15 (CEV)

About that time [when John the Baptist showed up in the desert] Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. As soon as Jesus came out of the water, he saw the sky open and the Holy Spirit coming down to him like a dove. A voice from heaven said, "You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with you."

Right away God's Spirit made Jesus go into the desert. He stayed there for forty days while Satan tested him. Jesus was with the wild animals, but angels took care of him.

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


1. This section about Jesus beginning to announce the good news that comes from GOD echoes all through this church year. The time has come. The time has come! Yes! the time has come!

2. It is time to hear our name called out and identified as "a beloved." It is time to acknowledge the importance of your time. GOD's domain beckons your time and energy. Investigate the changes needed to live as a "beloved."

3. Forty days of testing. When you are just trying to make it one-day-at-a-time this seems like a great much. Who can face temptation for forty days, much less forty minutes? By ourselves alone, probably no one. Keeping in touch with creation and the perspective it gives (the wild animals) is one place to be grounded. Keeping in touch with eternity and the perspective it gives (the angels) is another place from which to find the wisdom to be delivered from evil.

We are beginning the season of Lent. Forty days, not counting Sundays, until Easter when we see how even the temptation to give in to death as an ending spot can be blessed. May your forty-day Lent bridge your having been blessed to your being a blessing.

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