Friday, February 11, 2011

OYNTB for Mark 1: of wild animals, angels, and The Call

I am struck by the humility of John the Baptist, especially when compared to the pride of the Pharisees. From Elizabeth's womb he was Messiah's herald. Saying he was “not worthy to untie the sandals” of Jesus was not empty self-debasement but a confession of his own unworthiness before and willingness to serve Israel's Judge, for whom he preached repentance and forgiveness. How unlike the religious establishment that wouldn't stoop to untie anyone’s sandals, least of all someone they blindly insisted was just a Galilean carpenter's son.  
I am struck by the promise of Jesus to Peter and Andrew: "I will make you fishers of men." With those four words he took responsibility. They would be apprentice Kingdom builders, their training and welfare now the responsibility of the Cornerstone Himself. Not theirs to wonder how, when or where. The only condition: "Come, follow me."
Finally I am struck by Mark's brief, vivid description of Jesus in the desert for 40 days. Of the gospel writers, only he mentions the presence of both wild animals and angels. I too have been sent out into a desert on a solitary pilgrimage that will last, I suspect, more than 40 days.

As I begin, three things I know already. First, I will face the "wild animals" of the world, the flesh and the devil. This unholy trinity would leave me a pile of bleached bones, if it could.  Second, angels will attend me; some visible, others not. Third, the voice that has called me into the desert is saying, "Come, follow me."

1 comment: