Beginnings mark our passages today. The last major section of Genesis begin. Joseph and his brothers: today we hear of the 17 year old Joseph, who as a shepherd, has a dramatic dream about him reigning over his brothers. They are naturally not amused, and plot his demise.
The gospel of Mark begins today. It’s my favorite gospel, not because of its brevity, but because of its quirky details which paint a stunning and imaginative picture of God’s grace. Unlike the other gospels, “the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” does not begin with a birth narrative or with the beginning of time, but rather with John the Baptist proclaiming in the wilderness.
Like a good journalist, he paints a picture with quotes, memorable details, and keeps it brief. There is talk of a baptism of fire. Only 13 verses in and Jesus is already tempted in the wilderness. Mark moves it along, which sows the seeds of expectancy and mystery.
Dreams and expectancy fill our passages. With dreams come decisions. The characters in our stories all stand at the beginning of their journeys. And with beginnings come crossroads – for more is around the corner.
Such it is with each of our Lenten journeys too. We know that in these penitential days the centering aspect of these 40 days will take us to the foot of the cross, but in the meantime there are choices to be made along the journey. Crossroads are like that. Life is full of choices. Choose carefully. Choose love. Choose hope.