Going Deeper 12.04.2020

The Gospel reading for Advent 2... Mark 13:24-37

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.”

Much has been written about the intriguing figure commonly known as John the Baptist.  Each of the four Gospels add details regarding what John did and said.  And the picture we are left with is that this was one peculiar human being!

Peculiar? Yes.  Important? Even more so!  The coming of John heralded the most important event of all of human history: the long-awaited and much anticipated coming of the Messiah.  And his message continues to proclaim how we are to prepare for the coming of Jesus: repentance.  "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."

Christians who follow the traditional Church Year calendar usually see the pre-Easter season of Lent as being a time for focusing on repentance.  And it is.  But so is Advent.  After all, how important is the coming of the Light and Salvation of the world if we are not aware of our darkness and sin?!  If we don't understand that there is something very wrong about us and the world we live in, who needs a Savior?  The more are repentance leads us to understand our need, the greater will be the celebration of the birth of the One who has come to deliver us.

So, as we continue our preparations for the Christmas Holy-day, let's each take time to contemplate just how much we are in need of Jesus.

With You in Repentance,

Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington

"Gratefully Growing Servants"