“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
Jesus begins his ministry by announcing the kingdom of God and calling on everyone to repent. We sometimes read this as a warning of wrath and judgment, or hear it as rebuke. What if it’s rather a piece of permission to turn from harm and an invitation into life and love? When we read Jesus’ words through the lens of Mary Oliver’s “Wild Geese,” we might find ourselves in the midst of a most generous gospel.