Friday, November 20, 2009

“Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” (Mark 4.41)

New Testament Challenge, Day 6 – Mark 1-4

Once Mark has introduced Jesus Christ, immediately we begin to hear of the many healing miracles and exorcisms He performed while on Earth. Even His disciples were amazed at what they were witnessing every day. Saint Mark’s emphasis on these events is no accident, we can be sure of that. He wishes to reveal to us that God’s power is present in Christ and that He has the power to save us from whatever ails us…even death.

We are living in times of great turmoil for many people. With our economy continuing to struggle out of recession many of our brothers and sisters are without food, clothing, shelter, health care, or hope. The United States Government continues to present itself as the hope of the people: health care reform; mortgage relief; stricter guidelines on corporate executives who have taken advantage of our weakness. Both political parties are obsessed with either gaining or maintaining power and daily offer “hope to America” that their particular agenda will save us from whatever ails us…but we know better.

The Jewish leaders were just as power hungry as today’s politicians. Saint Mark tells us of their reaction to the hope that was given by Jesus Christ to the people to ease their suffering: “Then the Pharisees went out and immediately plotted with the Herodians against Him, how they might destroy Him” (Mark 3.6) They could not rest having the people hope in someone other than the “establishment” personified in the Pharisees and the Scribes.

Only God has the power to save us. Our hope can only rest upon the Triune God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - to rescue us from death and corruption. During this time of Advent, we should be focusing more attention on receiving the Creator of the Universe at Christmas and less on whether our stock portfolios are stronger than last year or whether government can provide better health care than the private sector. After all, God came as a human being not an agency, and it is only as human beings that we can help each other ease our suffering.

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