The world can be a scary place, and in our anxiety we sometimes turn towards things that hold no real safety.

We serve a God in whom we find our true solace. Take some time now to turn to God, and put your fears aside.

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They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Mark 1:21-22

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His words amazed the crowd that day.

He told them things they had heard all their lives. He talked about how God was against powerful people who abused the poor, and he sounded like the prophet Amos. He talked about how God’s kingdom would come, and then people would not have to worry about losing their lives or homes in warfare, and he sounded like the prophet Micah. He quoted Deuteronomy 6, the “love God with all your heart” passage, and Leviticus 19, “love your neighbor as yourself.” He told them they needed to repent and turn their hearts and lives towards God, and he sounded like every prophet in the Good Book.

So what was different? Maybe Jesus sounded like one of them. He came from a poor family, from a village just up the road, and he didn’t use big words and make them feel stupid. Mark says it was his authority: When he talked, people could really believe that someday, God would make things right again.

Richard Vinson

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O God, speak to me through Jesus’ words, and help me believe your kingdom is coming. Amen.

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You are going out now into a dangerous world.
But walk on with confidence,
Knowing that your God is with you,
More powerful than any evil influence,
More trustworthy than any pretender.

Richard Vinson

Richard Vinson teaches religion at Salem College and New Testament for Union Presbyterian Seminary (Charlotte campus). He is a native of Alabama. He and his wife, Diane Lipsett, between them have five sons, one daughter-in-law, a 5-year-old grandson, a dog, and two cats.

Hold Me in Your Hand, Lord, Teach Me How to Live

Ken Medema

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