Our scripture this week is Mark 1:1-8, taken today from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’” John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
John the Baptist was different than most prophets that had come before. He stayed outside the populated areas and people had to come to him. They had to make a conscious decision to go into the wilderness to seek him. This tells us how it will be with Jesus as well.
While He came to seek the last, the least and the lost, we must make a personal choice to accept Christ in our lives. When we repent, we begin changing our hearts and lives. Jesus calls us to be part of His work here, sharing the love of God with all the world.
Jesus shows us the way, but it is up to us to follow Him. He leads, but He doesn’t force us. Only through Christ can we be saved, but only our own confession that He is Lord will bring that blessing.
Gracious God, thank You for prophets who prepared the way for the coming of Jesus. Help us to share that Good News with everyone, that they may know Your love. Amen.