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.”


From Rev. Richard Howard, Pastor

First Christian Church, Morgantown

Let’s concentrate on the words of verse 15 for this meditation: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” The Rev. David Ewart, UCC minister in Vancouver, Canada, comments on his blog,, that “believe in the good news” is better translated as “trust into the good news.” It is not an opinion that Jesus seeks from us, but rather a “radical, total, unqualified basing of one’s life on his [i.e., Jesus’] good news.” It is a “discover-the-meaning-by-living-into his good news – even to the point of risking being killed for it.” This “trusting into” isn’t an intellectual exercise. And it can’t happen without repentance.

To repent isn’t a call to feel guilty about your ol’ bad self. Rather, to repent is to seek to be transformed, to realign one’s life with “new principles, new beliefs, new understandings, new insights, new objectives, new goals.” Repentance is given by Mark as the first sign of our transformation because our present lives will not live up to his expectations. New life requires the embracing of a new reality. As we make the Lenten journey, may we “live into the good news” and experience the joy of transformation.


O Lord, walk with us on our Lenten journey.

Open our souls to the possibility of transformation,

that your joy may be complete in us. Amen.