I hope you'll enjoy spending a year with me studying, meditating on the Gospel of Mark. We'll only take a few words every day. We'll chew on them over and over again, putting them into our hearts. My prayer is you'll take one truth from God's Word in this Gospel and make it alive for you personally throughout your day. Mark is the first Gospel written, probably in the mid-50's. Mark is giving us the very words of Peter. He traveled with him and wrote them down for the church's spiritual growth. Matthew and Luke undoubtedly borrowed material from it in their writing. It reads like a USA today article. The word "immediately" is throughout the book, a word connecting one story to the next. The audience is primarily Romans who, like us, enjoyed a quick read! But it's also meant for the entire Christian world, Jew and Gentile alike, calling people to faithful discipleship in following Jesus.
Verse 1 begins: "In the beginning.." Let's stop there. The beginning of what? Of what is commonly called "salvation history." Salvation history began with the call of Abraham (Genesis 12:1-3), the formation of Israel as a nation, God setting apart these people as a holy, different people, a history of their faithfulness and rebellion (Genesis 12 to Malachi 4) and God finally concluding salvation history with the coming of Jesus, His Son, our Savior. "In the beginning" of the final work, God sent Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to proclaim the Gospel, the "Good News" of how to be saved, how to enter heaven.
Every great story has a beginning. Someone once said that if you don't grab someone in the first few pages, or the first few minutes of the movie, or in the first few minutes of your sermon, you've lost them. The beginning of the story is Jesus. The end of the story is Jesus. The story is Jesus!!!
God loved the world so much he sent his Son Jesus for you and me. The beginning of Jesus' story is the beginning of our story too. On this New Year's Day, bask in the fact that Jesus came to give us a new beginning, a new start. In his forgiveness, the old has past away and the new has come. Don't examine your past story. Only look to the new one.
From the beginning of salvation history, God sought you!!! He desired a personal, intimate relationship with you!!!
That should be enough for you to begin to have a Happy New Year!