Humble Beginnings

I am told that in Minnesota you can step across the headwaters of the Mississippi River. It is no more than a tiny stream. It is amazing to me that a river so mighty can begin in such an inconspicuous way.

Perhaps we have a similar experience as we read the first chapter to the Gospel of Mark. The message of Christ has raised up nations and brought them low, launched and defeated armies, started large social movements and destroyed others. Think of all that has been done in the name of Jesus Christ and how inconspicuously the Gospel begins according to Mark. Here we find none of the thunderous poetry used by John to describe the pre-existent Christ. We dream no dreams and no angels visit with us. Caesar Augustus and Herod seem pretty far away. No excuse here for Christmas trees or mob-ridden malls or long hours putting together services of lessons and carols–thank God! All Mark offers to us is John the Baptist, Martha Stewart’s worst nightmare, smelling like a camel and calling people to change their ways.

Samuel Massey, You’ve Got to be Kidding!

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