Being both Wise and Innocent

Ordinary Time
January 20, 2018

Scripture Reading: Mark 1:14-20

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.’ –Mark 1:14-15

What is our final straw? What must happen to get us up and out into the world to do our part toward building the Kingdom of God? Jesus and John had most likely talked and prayed about the need for change many times; may even have had a plan. Jesus probably saw the writing on the wall that John’s arrest would lead to his death. The mantle was on Jesus’ shoulders now.

I heard and read several voices of race-hate this week. Hecklers calling out in gatherings celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. disrupted meetings. I was stunned to hear of states placing work requirements for adults to receive Medicaid. There are very few adults even eligible to receive Medicaid, and if they do, they are most likely at that moment too sick to work. Many of these adults are parents of children who need them returned to health so that they can support their families. Why would we suddenly require thousands of refugees from El Salvador sheltered here to return to their homeland when we warn our citizens that it is a place too dangerous to visit? Are these types of policies the way you envision the Kingdom of God functioning?

I am a strong supporter of the USA constitutional separation of church and state. I respect the rights of people to practice freedom of speech and religion. I also think it is incumbent on each of us to make our voices heard regarding the way our state or country should function. Less than half of eligible voters, vote in most elections. Many who vote are caught up in one-issue or another without regard to how the candidate might act on other issues. I believe some candidates emphasis wedge issues to get elected because they have other issues that are more important to them but are not as important to their constituents. They are sly like foxes. Jesus tells us ‘See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. (Matthew 10:16)

Prayer: Lord, create in us pure hearts, hold us closely in synch with your will, and empower us to step out in faith in support of a world that reflects your love. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.