Dear Friends,

I just finished reading the first 3 chapters of Mark.  In our Lenten Journey to Hope series, we are using scriptures from Mark and each week we are being given reading assignments that will take us through the entire Gospel of Mark by Easter.  This week, it’s Mark 1, 2, and 3.

Mark gets right down to business.  No long introduction.  Nothing about the birth of Jesus.  By verse 16, Jesus has already beenbaptized, has spent 40 days in the wilderness, and is calling his first disciples.  There is an urgency to Jesus.  There is no time to lose.  What he has been put on earth to do is that important.  It’s as if he knows his time is limited (3 years between his baptism and his crucifixion).  But then it tell us (1:35-37) that he wasn’t too busy to pray.  He wakes up early and goes into the wilderness (the same wilderness where he just spent 40 days?) and he prays.  His disciples go looking for him.  “Everyone is asking for you,” they say.

In our daily lives, it’s easy to get so busy we complain about it while deep down we kind of like it. It feels good to be needed.  And work can be intoxicating.  You get into it and one project leads to another leads to another.  It’s all so important. The harder you work the more you are inclined to compare yourself to those who aren’t working so hard.  You develop that martyr’s complex. “I am so overworked and under-appreciated!”

Jesus wouldn’t have lasted even three years had he allowed himself to get caught up in all that.  Everyone was asking for him?  So what?  He needed time alone.  Time with God.  Time to pray.

Are you making time for that in this Lenten season?  Or are you smarter than Jesus?

In Christ,