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Perhaps there is the need to let the full measure of the Good News to soak in, to permeate the community, so that when the time came they would recognize that the kingdom had truly come into their midst.Why Jesus needs to do this may result from his recognition that it’s easy to misunderstand the message.The story is told, perhaps it’s apocryphal, that my grandmother spotted me preaching in my crib, and she told my mother that I would grow up to be a preacher.While I spent my youth as first an acolyte and then a lay reader in the Episcopal Church, I took a while before I caught hold of that vision. I went to seminary with the intention of being a college professor.The fact is, there is no such thing when it comes to human relations.Our color, our culture, all help to define who we are as the people of God.

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No, we could go a different direction on the Sunday before Easter.Besides, Jesus commissions Mary Magdalene to preach the gospel to his disciples (though not in Mark, since Mark doesn’t have a resurrection appearance by Jesus).So, what is our calling – not only as clergy, but as the people of God?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.

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