Reading: Mark 1
“Redeeming the Time” by Sara Faye Fudge
Time is such an ephemeral concept. We calendar our appointments, check our phones, lament waiting anywhere, and generally structure our lives around the clock notations. As Peter observes, in 2 Peter 3:8-9 when answering the doubters that the Lord was not returning, “But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
And so we read the beginning of Mark’s gospel with the quotation from the prophet Isaiah, proclaiming the messenger’s coming to prepare the way for the Lord’s appearance. And the approximate date for Isaiah was 740 B.C. And then nothing happens for a long time!! Finally, John the Baptist appears on the scene, preaching the need for repentance and baptizing all who came out to him. And Jesus himself came out to John, the sinless man of 30 standing in the sinner line, to be baptized. And then watch what happens. After all those years of waiting, prophecy was now being fulfilled, and things speed up with an amazing pace.
Immediately after coming out of the water, Jesus is affirmed as God’s beloved son by the Spirit’s presence and the voice of God. And that word “immediately” appears 10 times in this chapter, with Jesus moving from preparation in the wilderness, to calling his disciples, to teaching, to healing after healing after healing. And his entire ministry was only three years but it was filled with action, doing the will of the Father.
As we enter this season of reflection, let us be encouraged that the Lord is working in us and empowering us to do the work he has for us to do – to speak of His glory, sing of his mercy and grace, and praise our Savior who showed us how to use our time for God, whether many years or few. We have a mission in this world and need to “redeem the time” (KJV) or make the most of our time, because the days are evil. (Eph. 5:16)