Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Sunday, March 27, Morning
By Dena Wise
So Little Time, So Much to Do!
Read: Mark 9:30-32
“They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.”
During this time in his ministry, Jesus was having to balance his time on earth to proclaim the good news, nurture and teach his disciples, and establish his kingdom against the ultimate trajectory of his death on the cross. Some Bible scholars have contended that, knowing his claim to being the Son of God would ultimately lead to his death, Jesus bought time by veiling his messages in parables, generally staying away from populated areas, and sometimes telling his followers and the recipients of his miraculous healing to not tell others about him or who he was. Whether or not this was the case, we know that it was dangerous to claim to be the Messiah in an age when both the Roman authorities and Jewish leaders were strongly protective of their power. We can easily imagine that Jesus felt urgency to ground his disciples in the ways of love, to provide examples of humility and service, and to strengthen their faith to the point that they could carry on his message and his work. He went about his work all the time knowing that his death was imminently, and perhaps immediately on the horizon. History shows, indeed, that he was given a scant two years to establish a new perspective among God’s people on earth—a task that would challenge even the most savvy agent of social change today.
Our good news is that two years were enough! The work of the humble carpenter of Galilee has lived through the ages. Two-thousand years after his ministry, the Gospel is proclaimed across the whole world. It has provided hope to millions who struggled, and comfort and peace to those whose circumstances gave them none. It gives us hope for the future of the world, and for our own eternity.
Lord of Time, grant us urgency for the tasks you assign us. Thoroughly convince us that the best hope for today’s world lies in your purpose, both now and for ages to come. Make our faith and courage strong, so that no danger deters our work to realize your perfect vision for all. Amen.