Scripture Reading: Mark 1:4-11
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.’
“Help is on the way!” are precious words to those who are in distress with seemingly no control of what life is dishing out to them. Most of us know the feeling. I wonder what it was about the first century that made God decide humans needed more knowledge/awareness of the consistent, constant help God offers. Is that why God came to us in human form?
God created a very complex world capable of working well together like a fine-tuned instrument and capable of chaos. Parents know what that is like watching an infant striving to move across the floor on hands and tummies and knees until one day they lift themselves up on hands and knees and crawl. Next, they take that first tentative step. Parents are torn between letting them develop and protecting them from the dangers of their development. At times we all need a hand to hold whether we are learning to walk, learning to work, learning to love, or learning to die. Immanuel, God with us, came among us for just such a purpose.
John the Baptist suggests that people particularly need fresh starts recognizing when the path they chose was not the right path. He could help them by guiding them to confess their sins and start again, but he foresaw one coming who could lead them, us to the path of righteousness for God needs all God’s children to work and love together to actualize God’s plan. Jesus Christ came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (John 10:10b)
Prayer: Thank you God for sharing yourself with us through Jesus Christ. Help us grow in your wisdom and truth. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.