The Beginning

Scripture Reading — Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. — Mark 1:1

In today’s consumer market, books need a bold title, an eye-catching cover, clever content, and slick graphics. Two thousand years ago books were not published, marketed, and purchased like they are today. They were written on scrolls, and most people didn’t have access to them, unless they were read aloud in public.

The book of Mark does not have a flashy cover or title, but it certainly has compelling content. It’s the “good news about Jesus . . . the Son of God”—and it opens with a phrase that reminds people of the very first words in Scripture: “In the beginning . . .” (Genesis 1:1). Genesis tells about the beginning of creation, and Mark is about “the beginning of the good news about Jesus.”

What’s more, we find that the gospel (“good news”) of Mark is the beginning of a story that goes far beyond the few years of Jesus’ work and ministry on earth. In fact, this is the beginning of the world’s greatest story that extends all the way into 2021—and beyond. And in read­ing this gospel we are challenged to find how and where this story changes everything for us today. It is here that the story begins, and it is here that our lives begin to have meaning.

Today we are beginning a new year, and in Mark we discover the beginning of the groundwork for new life in Christ.

Prayer

Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus Christ and for telling us about him. May we all discover some fresh, new ways in which we can honor and live for you in 2021. Amen.