1st Sunday of Lent

Gospel Lesson: Mark 1:9-15

Key Verse:  After John was arrested, Jesus went to Galilee preaching the Message of God: “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.” (from The Message)


“Time’s up!” are words that strike fear in our hearts when we are students taking a timed test. Whatever mistakes we might have made cannot be corrected. Whatever questions we have omitted cannot be answered. Our grade depends upon what we have done. When the music stops on the final Jeopardy question, the winner has been determined, to be revealed by the host. But when Jesus announces, “Time’s up!” it is an invitation, not a sentence of judgment. Jesus is announcing the opportunity to correct our mistakes, to answer the questions we have omitted or ignored, to trust God’s good news is meant for us. Jesus’ arrival and Jesus’ message offer each of us the opportunity to become more attuned to God’s love for us, better able to get the right answers for us and for our world. We may have been studying the scriptures and listening to the religion scholars, but for one reason or another, we still find ourselves confused or uncertain. Jesus invites us to believe his message which will clear up our confusion and help us see – and become – kingdom people. If we have failed to be loving, now is the time to love more fully. If we have not helped people who are in need, now is the time to help in big and little ways. If we have held grudges, now is the time to forgive. We can change our lives – our answers on the test – as we trust this Good News.

Meditation/Call to Action

  • Often we are encouraged to downplay the “should have, could have” moments in our lives. But sometimes those are the circumstances that pierce our hearts with the possibility of a new way of thinking, a new way of living. Where are the places we would like to correct, the omissions we would like to fill in?
  • In what ways might we practice a changed life, through helping, healing, loving or forgiving?
  • Are there practical acts we might make that would amaze ourselves or those who receive what we offer?
  • Might someone ask, “Why are you doing this?” giving us the opportunity to share our faith with them?

God, whose grace invites us to change our lives and believe this good news,

            show us opportunities to change our lives and our world,

that we might grow in love and commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.




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