Wednesday: Feb. 29                                                  

Mark 1:9-15

            In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.

             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.”

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            What a text!  Tough to preach, tough to read.  Jesus is baptized, the Spirit descends on Jesus, a voice from heaven says “’You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’  And the Spirit immediately (my emphasis) drove him out into the wilderness.”  I must confess, I just do not like this.  Jesus pleased; Spirit sent him into awful place.  And I want to be a disciple; I want to be pleasing to God?  So much for the “feel good” gospel.  But Jesus wasn’t alone there.  The scripture also says “…and the angels waited on him.”  Wherever we go, whatever happens, we are not alone!  That’ll preach!

God of the wilderness, thanks for your presence – everywhere.

Rev. Janice Hill

First Christian Church, Parkersburg

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