Change Your Life – Believe the Message

It’s a humble journey, a humble journey with Jesus that we begin in Mark’s Gospel today, this First Sunday in Lent. It’s a quiet, unassuming, modest journey. At the same time it’s an amazing, remarkable, life-changing journey for us Jesus people, for us Easter people, because we peek out of an empty tomb to watch it begin, and we know that this journey is filled with God’s voice ringing in our ears and hearts, Satan’s temptations and wild beasts lurking in the shadows of our lives, angels when we need them, and our unashamed witness about how we follow Jesus.

Our journey is like Jesus’ journey. It’s both humble and obedient to the point of death, as well as it is glorious and world-changing.

It begins with an undignified smudge of ash on our foreheads, foreheads that were splashed with baptismal waters years earlier and a voice: “Child of God, you are sealed by the Holy Spirit, and marked with the cross of Christ forever.” “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Our travels are marked by a trail of muddy footprints as we make our way through a wilderness littered by the beastly issues of home and school and office, stress and sickness and sadness, confusion and chaos and violence. F

We struggle all our lives to say yes to what is good and to be faithful, as Jesus was, to our covenantal relationships.  The issue isn’t temptation. The issue is fidelity. Temptation always presents a choice. Making the right choice brings growth, strengthened relationships and a time of fulfillment.

Like Jesus, we call out as we travel with words similar to those that Eugene Peterson uses in his rendering of the gospel The Message: “Time’s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.”

Adapted from Renew International Year B