Start at the Beginning, A poetic reflection on Mark 1:1-13
“Start at the beginning,” I always say
When parishioners want to tell me
about something that’s bothering them
or about a complicated situation.
For Matthew, the beginning
is the family lineage, generation to generation;
For Luke it is the birth of the man
who will eventually baptize Jesus.
John’s beginning of the life of Jesus
is the beginning that predates all life on earth.
All of them grand, sweeping,
historical, Hollywood blockbuster
sorts of beginnings
made for large opening credits,
James Earl Jones narrations,
Cecil B. DeMille larger than life spectacles.
Seems more like the opening scene in Speed
(“Bob, what button did you push?”)
Cubby Broccoli’s James Bond,
always in the middle of the action
before we even know where we are
and what is about to happen.
“Start at the beginning,” they always say
When someone wants to hear the story
of how I traveled from pathologist to priest.
I realized not long ago
the story I tell today
has a different beginning
than the one I told four years ago.
I wonder what it will be
when I tell it five years from now.
I really do…
if we could buttonhole Mark
in a corner of the café
where the company of saints
or a shady table
next to Brigid’s Lake of Beer…
what story Mark would tell us
that was the story of our beginning?
Maria Evans splits her week between being a pathologist and laboratory director in Kirksville, MO, and gratefully serving in the Episcopal Diocese of Missouri , as the Interim Pastor at Christ Episcopal Church, Rolla, MO.