The Chair and the Desk, 1/13/16

From the chair:

“Now when John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.'”

-Mark 1:14-15

This the day, when I was trying to remember this verse, I first said, “Repent and be baptized.” Now, that’s a good thing to do. In fact, that’s a biblical thing to do–it comes from Peter’s sermon in Acts 2. We should repent and we should be baptized. However, we are also called to believe in the gospel. That’s a more challenging word for me today, because I can say “I’ve already been baptized,” but I can’t simply say, “I’ve already believed.”

I believe and I don’t believe. I believe, but not as much as I want to believe. Not as vividly or as regularly. What are we to believe in? The gospel of God. Dr. Witmer helped us understand what Mark means by this in our exegesis class: On the one hand, the gospel of God is the whole narrative of Jesus Christ. That’s why the book starts out: “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” On the other, it’s also this succinct declaration on Jesus’ lips, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand.” I believe…help my unbelief.

From the desk:

“In other ages, unlike our own time, the love of God has been anything but self-evident. The harshness of life, its brevity, its seemingly random catastrophes, its hollowness, its moments of malignancy, and its violence have all seemed to point in another direction. Perhaps to a God of indifference or, worse yet, a God who is hostile to human life. Perhaps he is so remote as to be untouched by it. In the first century, it was the cross that dispelled thoughts like these. It was to the cross that the early church fathers returned again and again as they confront their pagan world. How could anyone think that God is hostile to human life, or indifferent to it, or removed from it, if he gave his own Son?”

-David Wells, God in the Whirlwind, p.78

As Wells says, the love of God would not be self-evident, but it is evident in Christ. How do we know that God loves us and what his love is like? By looking to Christ, who laid down his life for us.

“The chair” is the one Annie aptly chose for the corner of our living room, and it’s where I am committed to daily hearing from God’s Word–the Word I above all else hope to speak to others. “The desk” is the one by my coffee grounds and spare charger (if I get to the library early enough); it’s where I have the privilege of reading and thinking all day, where I intend to learn for others’ sake.


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