3 Epiphany – Year B

Jonah 3:1-5, 10; Psalm 62:6-14; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20

“Come, Watson, come! The game is afoot.  Not a word!  Into your clothes and come!”    Sherlock Holmes

                Hit the ground running!  That should have been the title of Mark’s Gospel.  Jesus hit the ground running.  Mark uses the word “immediately” forty times.  (see Greek below)  In today’s story Jesus is beginning his public ministry by calling Simon and Andrew, and James and John.  Jesus barely speaks ten words to them, and they leave their boats and nets, and are off and running after him.  Sherlock Holmes at least gave Watson time to change his clothes.  The game is certainly afoot.  As with Sherlock, this game is no play thing, but a serious matter.  The serious issue for Jesus is, as he said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near.” (see Greek below)  Now is the right time, right now!  How often have we missed opportunities because we were hesitant or fearful?  God sends promptings that may come by comments from friends or strangers.  There may even be synchronicities that we merely wonder at, but not act upon.  We would rather keep on fishing.  We don’t have to physically die to enter the kingdom of God.  Sometimes it can, in our present days, be a major life change.  Other times there are simply cases in point that happen every day.  Take this for an example.   “My friend Mary has been on my mind today.  Maybe I should call her.”  Sometimes we take huge leaps into the kingdom of God.  Most often in our daily lives we walk after Jesus with small steps.  The message is: Don’t hesitate.  Get up now.  Follow immediately.

Greek

                The Greek word is usually translated “immediately.”  However, it is sometimes translated differently, such as “straightaway” or “at once.”  However translated, the same Greek word describing urgency and quick movement is used by Mark forty times, twice in this passage.

                The word (kairos) that Jesus uses is not the word for chronological time (chronos), but means more like the “right time.” 

Haiku

Yesterday fish nets.

Today a quick trail blazing.

Hesitate never.

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