Friday, March 3, 2006
Then John's disciples came and asked him, "How is it that we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?"
"Jesus answered, "How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast."
How quickly the scene changes in this Bible drama! Jesus the carpenter's son, living his quiet life in Nazareth admires his cousin John's ministry from a distance. What is he thinking?
Then suddenly he acts. He walks out of Nazareth, into John's tent meeting where John realizes with a start that this cousin of his is marked by the Holy Spirit, anointed by God ... Jesus' baptism turns the world inside out and upside down as heaven comes down and glory fills his soul.
After forty fasting days alone in the desert Jesus gathers disciples. He begins to preach and heal with purpose and vigor. He finds words that he never could have spoken even two months earlier.
In these first shining moments of his presence as Messiah on the planet earth Jesus knows the celebration must be strong and certain. At last God has come down to the children he gave up to Satan. The kingdom of God is at hand.
Nothing about today resembles yesterday, Jesus says. The seer of Ecclesiastes has finally been proven wrong. There is something new under the sun. Open up your hands and receive it, Jesus says. And rejoice! This kingdom of God is a party.
There's just no telling, Lord, what you might do next. You keep us leaping and laughing and praising God. Come, Holy Spirit!