Epiphany 3 B: Fullness Where We Least Expect It

Mark 1:14-20 Dear Partner in Preaching, I don’t know about you, but I suspect it didn’t look like God’s kingdom had come near to any of the persons Jesus first called to be disciples. I mean, they still had to work, long hard hours to scrape out a living as fishermen. Whatever challenges they had at home were still there. Whatever unfulfilled dreams they entertained were no closer to being realized. Moreover, Rome was still in power. They were still living in an occupied nation. Herod was the brutal puppet leader of their region and Pontius Pilate still governed Judea with an iron fist from Jerusalem. No, I doubt that it looked very...

Epiphany 3 B: Following Jesus Today

Dear Partner in Preaching, I’ve always found this passage both inspiring and vexing. I find it inspiring because of the decisiveness and immediacy of the response of the four disciples mentioned in today’s reading. But I also find it a tad vexing because it seems to set the bar so high. Leave everything…to follow an itinerant preacher into an unknown future…immediately. To be honest, I find it hard to imagine doing as these four did, and I wonder if our folks might feel the same. And that might not be a bad place to start: asking our folks if they can imagine picking up and leaving everything to follow Jesus. If you do that, make...