"Then Jesus began to teach them that the Mortal One (Son of Man) must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again." Mark 8:31
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10
"Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John, and led them up a high mountain apart, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them.." Mark 9:2
January was an eventful month, and the various national occurrences all happened to fall on Wednesdays. My son, Elijah, read one headline that talked about the "I"'s of Wednesdays in January: Insurrection, Impeachment, Inauguration and Investment (referencing last Wednesday's GameStop stock event where everyday investors beat hedge fund investors at their own game). While each of these events is noteworthy in its own way, the insurrection on the first Wednesday in January merits some deeper conversation and reflection because it implicates Christianity in very specific ways.
Happy New Year! Wait, what? It's almost February, but with insurrection and inauguration, I have hardly had a moment to focus on the incredible promise of this new year. We have so many wonderful things to look forward to together in 2021.
"Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.'" Mark 1:14-15
"Philip found Nathanael and said to him, 'We have found the one about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.' Nathanael said to him, 'Can anything good come out of Nazareth?' Philip said to him, 'Come and see.'" John 1:45-46
"In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." Mark 1:9-11
"I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my whole being shall exult in my God; for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with jewels." Isaiah 61:10
"A voice cries out in the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken." Isaiah 40:3-5