Advent and Christmas announced Ready or Not Here He Comes. Epiphany shouts: Here’s Jesus. From a humble baptism by John in the Jordan River to a glorious transfiguration Jesus is revealed to the world as humble, magnetic, powerful, and compassionate. Knowing Jesus is a lifelong adventure. 2021 will certainly have its share of triumphs and tragedies. The one, never changing constant is God’s love for us revealed in the birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and promised coming again in glory of his beloved Son.
The Beloved Son
Sunday, January 10, 2021
– In quick decisive strokes Mark paints a picture of our restoration. Heaven and earth meant to be together, but separated by sin and evil, are being brought back together. John announces it. Jesus accomplishes it. And God, the Father affirms it. Jesus steps up out of the water and heaven is torn open and the Spirit descends on him. Jesus is the Beloved Son, who brings us back into the presence of God in the water of our baptism by the power of the Holy Spirit. The adventure of another year of following Jesus begins today. Where will he lead us in 2021?
Sunday, January 17
– Who do you say Jesus is? That is the ultimate question that will determine your entire understanding of life now and forever. But how does one come to give an answer? In our reading today Nathanael is skeptical, then miraculously convinced. Jesus from Nazareth, a place where no great figure of the biblical story has ever been from, is the Son of God, the King of Israel. What happens next is both humorous and thrilling!
Calling Us to Follow Him
Sunday, January 24
– Jesus appears suddenly on the scene in Mark’s account of his work in this world. He speaks authoritatively and immediately his commands produce results. Peter, Andrew, James and John dropped what they were doing and followed Jesus. It changed their lives and the world. Jesus’ command goes forth again today. Follow me! Responding to him for the first time or the ten thousandth time still changes lives and will change the world.
Sunday, January 31 – Mark’s gospel is like an action adventure movie. After calling his first disciples Jesus is immediately confronted by a man with an unclean spirit identifying him as “the Holy One of God” (Mark 1:24). Jesus speaks with an authority that silences the man and amazes the crowds. The presence of evil in our world is undeniable. In Jesus we have one who has authority over evil and has come to conquer it once and for all. When he speaks it’s not simply for the amazement of the crowds but for us to hear and believe that he is in fact the Holy One of God for us.
Sunday, February 7 – Jesus proclaimed, “The kingdom of God is at hand” (Mark 1:15). The kingdom of God is the world put right – right with him, right with one another, and right with creation. In the new heaven and new earth “death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore” (Rev 21:4). Jesus’ healing preaching and healing ministry is a foretaste of the feast to come! His resurrection is the guarantee of permanent healing for all who believe when he comes again in glory.
Listen to Him
Sunday, February 14 – At Jesus baptism a voice from heaven declared: “You are my beloved Son, with you I am well pleased.” From there Jesus called his disciples to follow him and demonstrated his power and his authority. Today we hear the voice from heaven again: “This is my beloved Son, listen to him.” Here’s Jesus with power, with authority and with the glory of real presence surrounding him and the voice speaks to us: Listen to Him.