Monday, March 9, 2009

A Season for Meeting Jesus

The season of Lent, the 40 days before Easter week, began on February 25. For this Lent and Easter season my them is “Meeting Jesus.” This is what the “Meeting” in Plainfield Friends Meeting is all about. It is a verb – an action word. We gather together to meet Jesus.

What happens when people meet Jesus?

When we read the Gospels we discover that things change when people meet Jesus. Some people get healed, others get angry. Fishermen and tax collectors begin gathering in people rather than fish or money. Some are puzzled and confused when they meet Jesus. Thousands are fed and others are made aware of their emptiness. Nothing stays the same.

The Gospel of Mark begins very abruptly telling us about Jesus. He is “the Son of God” (1:1). John the Baptist declares that he is “more powerful than I. . . . I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you the Holy Spirit”(1:7,8). The voice form heaven declares: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased”(1:11)

And then, after all this introduction, Jesus introduces himself: “The time has come,” he said, “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (1:15)

We are almost too familiar with these words. We don’t take seriously what Jesus is saying as he greets the world – and us.

“The time has come” – There is a purpose and significance to our time on earth. Life isn’t just “one thing after another.”

“The kingdom of God is near” – Jesus invites us to live in a different place, even while we live in this world. We don’t have to settle for the status quo and business as usual. God is within our reach, if we would only recognize it. And the things we consider so important in the realm we live in lose their significance.

“Repent and believe the good news!” – Jesus caused reactions in people because he calls us to reorient our lives around something besides ourselves. It’s a hard and uncomfortable thing to do. And it changes us.

Look for ways to meet Jesus this Easter season.

pastor Bill

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