Faithlife Sermons

Repent and Believe in the Good News

1st Reading: Jonah 3:1-5,10
You know the story of Jonah. We take up here after he was thrown overboard, picked up by the whale and spit out upon the shore by Nineveh. We can also see the prophet’s job at work here. Note that he is not foretelling the future but announcing God’s judgment on Nineveh. If they continue in their ways God will punish them but if they repent, God will hold back.
2nd Reading: 1 Cor 7:29-31
This is just a small selection of a teaching by Paul about the new order which will begin with the end of the world as we know it. The key to what he is teaching is in the last line of our selection; “those using the world as not using it fully”.
Gospel: Mark 1:14-20
After John is arrested Jesus comes to Galilee and preaches “This is the time of fulfillment. The kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Then, he calls Andrew, Simon, James and John who leave everything and follow him.
I’m currently enrolled in a Spiritual Direction Certification course. I’ve been interviewing people and when I ask them “what role does the desire for success play in your life?” they often say “I don’t think of success in worldly terms.” They say they are looking for inner peace, happiness, good family relationships, a sense of purpose, meaningfulness, and things like that.
That is what Jesus is preaching. In the first reading today, Jonah had to preach destruction to the people of Nineveh. Jesus is preaching the Good News. He is preaching that the time of fulfillment has arrived.
Both require a change, a turn away from the ways of the world and a turning toward the ways of God. Repenting means to make that change. It’s not a change in the intentions we espouse but a change in the actions we take. It worked for the Ninevites and it works for those who “believe in the Good News”.
The Good News is that Jesus is the fulfillment of all of the promises God made through the prophets, the fulfillment of everything the Jewish people had been waiting for, the fulfillment of their hopes and dreams, the fulfillment of what they needed to have success in their life. Jesus is the Good News.
And the good news about the Good News, is that it is attainable. The kingdom is right there, only an arms length away. You can reach out and touch it or, more precisely, enter into it and reap the benefits of living in the Kingdom.
This is our Galilee. This is our time of fulfillment. Leave the ways of the world behind. And live the ways of God… in the world. Experience the riches that only living in his kingdom can give.
Believe in the Good News!
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