Mark 1:14-15 – The Beginning of Ministry
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
It was around this time of year twenty-one years ago when I was a part of a ministry in southern Belize when I felt the call to a direction in my life. I was in college at the time and very unsure of my direction, but that summer as I worked with the children at the camp, I felt a leading unlike anything else I had experienced before. It began the process for me of exploring what Christian minister would be like and whether it was truly what God was saying. Its been twenty one years of continuing to learn what that means (and still learning at this very moment), of blessings and trials, of times of assurance knowing I was on the right path, and times of questioning whether I heard that leading correctly back in the jungles. The machete and case in this picture were one of my treasures I brought home from that summer and it continues to reside in my office as a reminder of the calling of that summer for my life. The icon is something that is very new in my life, though. One of the couples in the congregation I serve gave this to me as a gift form their recent trip to Russia – its an icon from one of the oldest churches in Russia and it is a profoundly beautiful icon and will be taking a central place in my office. These two things together remind me of the individual calling that I have that began in the jungles of Belize but how my calling (and all of our callings) are connected back to Jesus coming to Galilee as shared in this passage proclaiming that “the time is fulfilled, the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
Jesus ministry had a beginning as does the ministry that each of us are called to. What was your beginning? How did God speak to and into you? How is God continuing to speak today?