Yesterday's reading from Mark ended with the first verse of Chapter 9, where Jesus says to the disciples and the crowd surrounding them, Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see that the kingdom of God has come with power.
And today, immediately following that verse, Jesus takes Peter, James and John up the mountain, and transfigures before them, is visited by Moses and Elijah, and a voice tells them to listen to Jesus, the Son. There are volumes written on the Transfiguration. Just as much attention is also paid to this verse 1 of Chapter 9 where Jesus announces the Kingdom God. Some say Mark was giving hope to the people to whom he was writing, a people under siege, who had lost almost everything they knew and cared about. Hope that Jesus was going to "return" in their lifetime.
I wonder if, and I do believe that Mark was doing something else. In his reporting on Jesus' life, it is so much about Jesus' swift and terse actions telling all those he encounters that a change is a-comin', the change is here. Get ready. Jesus is announcing his kingdom, The Kingdom of God, opened for all of us by his ministry, Passion, death and resurrection. We are in the Kingdom, now. And we can see the Kingdom, now. We have our own free will to do what we can, with all that we have, to see that kingdom made apparent to all.
Making the Kingdom of God readily apparent to all, living into this Kingdom, here, now, is how I read that verse preceding our Gospel account today. The harder question to answer is, how do we actually effectuate the making apparent of this Kingdom to a society and world tone-deaf to this actuality? A challenging one to noodle today.
Copyright 2012, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Alley charging, 2008.