“Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15
The time is fulfilled. Here Jesus begins his ministry of proclaiming the good news of a new kingdom. That is the message of these weeks of epiphany. Now is the time Jesus says. It was God’s time to act. Not that the conditions were particularly favorable, or that the people somehow deserved it more, but just that the time was now.
I think we need to recapture that spirit of ministry each day when we set out on our way. The time is now. The kingdom of God is at hand. These statements are as true in this year and this place as they have ever been. We don’t need to wait for more favorable circumstances. We don’t need to wait until someone else asks us to participate. We don’t even need to wait for anyone’s permission.
Each of us has received our commission: Go therefore and make disciples, teach, love one another, pray for one another, break bread with glad and generous hearts, rejoice together, comfort one another, serve the least as if they are Jesus himself, and the list goes on. There is never a lack of opportunities to be the church of Jesus Christ.
When does it all begin? Now. The time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, rejoice, worship, work, love, serve, forgive, and always remember that the love of God in Jesus Christ is more certain than anything else in all creation. That’s the message of this season of the year. It is a time of new beginnings, the journey will be long, but this journey begins with the power of God’s Spirit, and moves through all of God’s people.
Pastor John Twiton