December 9, 2020
Morrison Chapel United Methodist Church
Mark 1:1-8 NIV
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,[b] 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”[c]—
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”[d]
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you with[e] water, but he will baptize you with[f] the Holy Spirit.”
DevotionThe first verse in Mark’s gospel reads like the opening of a fantastic book, doesn’t it? “The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” In a sense, Mark is writing a book, a biography, a recollection of events relating to this “Jesus Christ, the Son of God.”
Each of the gospel writers has his own unique flair of how he chose to tell the story of Jesus. Matthew wrote from the point of lineage or ancestry, Luke from the view of a medical professional who wanted others to see the fine details, John from his unique take as being “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” and Mark … well, Mark appears to have written as an eyewitness. Perhaps Mark is retelling the story based on his personal interaction with Jesus, or perhaps he is retelling what Peter or another disciple shared with him. Either way, he was impacted so powerfully in a personal way that he believed the story of Jesus to be of enough value to share with others.
Many years have passed since Mark wrote down his story, and countless millions have read his words and discovered, just as Mark did, that this “Jesus Christ, the Son of God” truly is good news for all humanity.
During Advent, imagine for a brief moment the profound impact that a single person simply retelling their experiences with Jesus has had upon our world down throughout the ages, and may I humbly suggest to you that the power and good news of the story continues even now, except it is the story being written within you as you experience Christ for yourself.
Perhaps in this day, like Mark, we might find ways to express our experience with Christ to someone else. Write a poem, sing a praise, be kind to another person, wear a mask. My prayer for you this day in this season of hope is that you are not silent about the hope that Christ has given you. After all, you never know the full impact that one story has to change a world.