Mark 1:1-8 (NIV)

Mark starts his Gospel very quickly without any of the Birth of Jesus stories, which we find in Matthew and Luke. Yet the first verse goes right the heart what Jesus’ life means, “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God,…” Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One, the Christ is Good News to us and to all of the world.  The Good News is that God has provided salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist appears to help people prepare for Jesus. Johns’ message, dress, and presence reminds us of the Old Testament Prophets who foretold the Messiah’s coming with one exception. John announces the Messiah who is already present on earth in Palestine, while the prophets always looked forward to the time when the Messiah would appear.

We too need time to prepare once again to revisit the birth of Jesus and consider the significance of the Good News of great joy, which is Christ the Lord. Advent is a season to ponder just how much we need the Messiah who is the Savior. We too need to confess our sins and seek forgiveness from God.

The promise of the Holy Spirit is already a part of our lives. The Holy Spirit, whom Jesus gives makes the Lord present to us, always. We need not live apart from God for the Lord is present through the Holy Spirit within us.

This Advent Season we can celebrate new life in Jesus, the forgiveness of all of our sins, and very presence of God with us through the Holy Spirit.

Prayer: Lord God, we stop right now to thank you for your saving mercy and love in and through the Lord Jesus. We are grateful for your grace and presence this day. Guide us to love you more and serve others in your love. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen.