Where is Jesus?

Pencil Preaching for Wednesday, January 12, 2022

"Everyone is looking for you" (Mark 1:37).

1 Sam 3:1-10, 19-20; Mark 1:29-39

Jesus' public ministry in Capernaum begins in the synagogue, but then spills into the neighborhood. He enters the house of Peter and heals his mother-in-law. Crowds gather at the door bringing the sick and the possessed. He is the Good News he is preaching, and everywhere he goes and everyone he touches is restored to right relationship and wholeness. This burst of activity announces better than words the new reality of God's rule over creation, overwhelming fear and disorder caused by sin and estrangement. 

It seems deliberate on Mark's part to show that such transforming power is not limited to the places and authority of formal religion. The scribes in the synagogue watched as Jesus demonstrated full access to God's mercy without protocol or fees, formula words or rituals. Grace was loose in the world. Ordinary people, especially the poor and outcast, had direct access to God in Jesus. Something new was happening, and it was beyond their control. 

It was soon clear that this divine outpouring even went beyond the borders of Israel. Foreigners, hated Samaritans, even Roman soldiers were welcomed by Jesus, who was already publicly eating with prostitutes and tax collectors. Unconditional love was blurring every boundary and making hash of legal definitions of insiders and outsiders. Everyone was looking for Jesus.

We rejoice in this universal embrace, even as we adjust our own comfort zones to make sure we are open to God in disguise and surprise. All are welcome, and this makes every day an adventure.

Revised from 2013

Pat Marrin

Pat is the former editor of our sister publication, Celebration, and he also served as NCR cartoonist. After retirement in 2016, Pat continues to contribute to NCR with his Francis comic strip and Pencil Preaching. Contact him at patrickjmarrin@gmail.com

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