In the 21st Century we take for granted the availability of detailed weather forecasts. We’re familiar with satellite images tracking storms days before they arrive, giving us plenty of time to take adequate precautions. So it’s hard to comprehend that just 29 years ago the people of southern England went to bed with no idea that the worst storm for 200 years was barreling in from the Atlantic, and that by morning many would be dead and 15 million trees would have been blown down. Indeed, the weather forecast that evening specifically denied that any such storm was on its way, and that heavy rain would be the worst problem people would face that night.
The lack of warning and the failure to prepare led to devastating consequences, and lessons were quick to be learned to prevent a repeat in the future.
In Mark’s Gospel Jesus begins his public ministry with just such a warning – the Kingdom of God is coming, God is going to start putting right all that has gone wrong with the world, and He starts with the problem of the human heart, because it is our selfish hearts that lie at the root of the world’s problems – repent, he says, turn back to God and believe the Good News that He loves and cares for you.