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Paradise Within

The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the Gospel
Mark 1:14-20

Sermon Topic Repentance

Sermon Week Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 1:15


In James Michener's novel about South Africa, there is a scene in which some people are digging in yellow clay, near the surface of the soil. In the yellow clay they discover some diamonds and they rejoice in their new-found wealth. They continue scratching around in the yellow clay and, for a considerable period of time, find even more diamonds. Then, one of them suggests digging deeper. As they break through the layer of yellow clay, they enter a layer of blue clay where the diamonds are so plentiful that their earlier finds seem puny. In the blue clay, they discover more diamonds in one day than they had found in a whole year of digging in the yellow clay.

"Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the Gospel of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the Kingdom of God is at hand'" (Mk. 1:15). Jesus is saying that it is time for us to stop scratching around the surface; time for us to get beneath the yellow clay and into the blue clay; time for us to dig deeper in our search for abundant life; time to go down to the deepest level of our being to discover the "pearl of great price."

"The Kingdom of God is at hand." It's not "up there" someplace. It's not "out there" someplace. It's not "over there" someplace. It's "at hand." The Kingdom of God, the Reign of God, the Rule of God, the Power of God, the Presence of God, the Love of God is within reach. The Gospel truth is, it is within us. But in order to discover it and experience it and rejoice in it, we must first be willing to dig deep within ourselves.

"Repent and believe in the Gospel," Jesus commands in today's Gospel Lesson. Jesus is directing us to examine ourselves in terms of who we are and why we are and how we are measuring up to our God-given potential. The time is fulfilled. Now is the time for genuine, honest, serious, sincere, no-holds-barred soul searching.

In a Bible History class, the teacher asked, [...]

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