Just this time I’m putting in a large picture from the opening page of Mark’s gospel in the wonderful Book of Kells housed just down the road in Trinity College Dublin.
Mark 1: 1-12
Here begins the story of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God’s chosen servant. Jesus fulfills the purposes of his Father. He is anointed at his baptism, not with oil, not by Samuel, but by the Holy Spirit. Here is a declaration of trinitarian identity and mission and also of love. While he stands in his line, here is no ‘ordinary’ king like David.
Mark gives us an insight into the triune character of God. The mission of the Son cannot be divorced from the Father and the Spirit, there is perfect unity in will and purpose.
Jesus is commissioned for mission. This mission only makes sense within the larger narrative of the Old Testament. Isaiah 40:3 is applied to John who foreshadows one greater to come. And this mission ‘at once’ starts with temptation in the desert where Jesus is sent by the Spirit. The wilderness is frequently a place where God is met in a powerful way. The temptation, as are told in Matthew, is to doubt his true identity as the Messiah, the Son of God. Temptation to turn back from the conflict and violence that lies ahead.
Prayer: We rejoice and give thanks this Sunday, in the beauty of our triune God; Father, Son and Holy Spirit, who is love and who gives the world the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Amen.