Are we not called as a people to share the good news that the kingdom of God is at hand?Is Jesus not gathering up a new cohort of Kingdom preachers?He invites them to leave their nets and follow him, taking on a new calling – not casting nets in the lake but casting nets into the human world to gather those who are willing to participate in the in-breaking of God’s realm.
We talk about “solo pastors,” by which we mean a congregation with one professional clergyperson on staff.While congregations can get too dependent on clergy, the work of the ministry isn’t a one person job!With the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birth and legacy fresh in our minds, it is worth reflecting on how his famed “I have a dream” speech has been used to sustain the status quo.White folks like to think of his speech as lifting up color-blindness.I was going to teach church history and preach on occasion, but not as a full-time pastor. My dreams of an academic career eventually gave way to a recognition of a call to preach the good news of God’s realm. First came John and he preached a message of repentance. He wasn’t the one who would inaugurate it, but he would pave the way. After his baptism and his temptation, he took up his calling as a preacher. Like John, Jesus called on the people to repent and believe. For preachers, there is always the danger of upsetting the people who pay the salary.
The time had come for the Realm of God to be revealed. By using the word “believe,” Jesus wasn’t talking about signing a doctrinal statement. We’d like to be prophetic, but without job security that can be difficult. He knows that sometimes you have to step on toes to get the message across. It seems as if Jesus is always hushing those who recognize him.He was talking about the need to entrust one’s life to the one who ushered in the realm of God. Scholars even have a term for it – the “Messianic Secret of Mark.” The kingdom is coming. He’s revealing it in his actions, including his acts of healing.But, he doesn’t allow those who “get it” to spill the beans.' That is more personal, more to the point, more specific, and touches the historic nerve of the American legacy of opposition to black-white marriage.That's one possibility of why the APJ caught on."Another is this: We probably should never assume that old issues are dead.The fact is, there is no such thing when it comes to human relations.