Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God,  and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
These are the first words Jesus speaks in Mark’s Gospel. It’s important to listen to first words. So simple: Listen. Repent. Believe.
These three simple actions are life changing. They touch our mind, our body, and our spirit.
First listen. If we are listening, we hear and we understand. It doesn’t say justify what you hear. It just simply says, listen.
Second repent. Repent is what we do with our bodies, not our minds or our spirits. To repent is to turn toward God. Keep your body turned toward god. If you are not repenting, you are walking with your back to God. Keep your face, your body turned toward God, and you are repenting. It does not say confess, it does not say, judge yourself. It simply says turn toward God. And in turning toward God, you are necessarily turning away from sin.
Third believe. Believe that your spirit is transformed in the action of turning toward God. We go through so many actions in our lives each day, that we don’t seem to really stop and thing about what we do when we turn toward something.
If we hear a noise, we turn around to see what has fallen off the table. If we hear the phone ring, we turn in the direction of the sound, perhaps wondering where we left the phone last. And we follow the sound if we don’t see the phone right away. And if we can’t find the phone, we use another phone to call the number so we can listen again to find the phone. And as we listen for the ring of the phone, turning toward the sound, we believe we are going to find the phone as the ring gets louder and louder upon our approach.
When is the first time we believe we will find the phone? When we hear it. If we didn’t believe in the phone, we wouldn’t turn toward the phone when we hear it ring. We have the capacity to believe before we hear.
We listen. We turn toward the sound we hear. We believe.
Keeping it simple will keep us turned toward God.