From Rev. Del Parris, Lost Ck., WV

Read Mark 1:1-8

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.” (NRSV)

            Most often my Advent reflections and prayers have focused on exercises to prepare my own heart and life for receiving Christ as He comes to me in the Christmas story.  However, as I read Mark’s opening verses, the quote from Isaiah caught my attention:  “Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, who shall prepare the way.” 

            As I reflected on these words my thoughts turned to how in this Advent season, and in my daily life, do I prepare the way for Christ to be present to others?    Do my thoughts, words and actions offer others an opportunity to experience the grace and redeeming love of God as made so clear in the birth of Jesus? 

            Make a list or identify some specific ways that you can be a messenger who “prepares the way of the Lord.”

How can I be your messenger, O God? 

Teach me now, that the windows of grace may be open in me.

These daily readings are offered by the Order of Ministry

of the Christian Church in West Virginia for your Advent journey.

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