This week, the Gospel reading from Mark explores the religious leaders who refused to accept that Jesus was from God, in spite of the miraculous works Jesus was doing. Rather than change their minds and their ways, they accused Jesus of using the power of evil to cast out demons. It is usually the case that when we start to blame and accuse others it’s because we don’t want to give up our way or our view. In the Old Testament, the people of Israel decide that they don’t want God to be their king anymore. They want a human king because “everyone else is doing it” – all the other nations have human kings. Both of these readings challenge our allegiances. The question we will need to face this week is this: Will we stay devoted to God while being open to the new things God is doing, or will we be determined that God must do things our way?

The temptation to give our allegiance sparingly and half-heartedly is common and universal, but if we won’t face the challenge to be wholeheartedly faithful, we will never really discover the joy and freedom of committed allegiance to God’s Reign. If, however, we can allow God to lead us into a wholehearted embrace of the values and priorities of God’s Reign, we will find ourselves in an adventure of diving ever deeper into the love of God that is ever new and surprising.

This week we open ourselves to God’s invitation to embrace his reign wholeheartedly and find the life it brings.

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