Messy!

Mark 1:1

The church is supposed to be God’s threat to the status quo, because the status quo has been wrong since the last meal in the Garden of Eden! The status quo is the comfortable culture of the Garden that runs from, avoids, and worships gods carved from our own image. But the radical, messy, subversive strategy of God has entered our post-garden world! John Mark presents us with an alternative worldview,

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.[1]

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is a subversion of reality, as we know it. The starting line of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to reimagine a new world order. The gospel is the greatest threat and the only significant one, to the world, as we know it. The work of a kingdom coming, as we pray in the Lord’s Prayer, is messy work. It changes everything. It’s a new world order.

I want us to reimagine a new world order where Jesus Christ is the key player. I want you to suspend your current cultural thinking of church and community and reinvision a worldview of miracles, power, love, forgiveness, and vulnerability.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a subversion of reality, an alternative version of reality, that says another way of life is not only possible but is mandated and valid. It is a new system where Jesus is the key player, the key figure. It is a subversion of current cultural thinking that dictates that a new kingdom has come, is “at hand,” a kingdom that is inbreaking upon our daily life as a living reality. It is a kingdom that affects how we treat our spouse, how we do our job, how we fill out our taxes, how we shop at Walmart.

Mark is introducing a messy gospel. A gospel not taught in most of our churches and Sunday schools. It is a subversion of our comfortable American way of life. This is a new world order that speaks of a King, Jesus Christ, who challenges our comfortable way of life.

The messy gospel of John Mark is a fast paced vibrant depiction of a man on a mission. Mark speaks of Jesus as the “son of man” more than any other gospel writer. It is a description of the humanness of Jesus. His humanity comes out in vivid scene after scene—a kind of first century motion picture of our savior living out true humanity through a counter cultural view of life.

We are thus faced with a choice—the choice of a new world order that challenges our old ways, our current passivity, our lingering shame, and our cult of comfort. The choice is before us. As we begin to work our way through the Gospel of Mark, buckle up the seatbelts of your heart, it could get messy.

On the Road,

Steve

[1] The New King James Version. 1982 (Mk 1:1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

The Road Less Traveled