Mark 1: 1-8
The Gospel of Mark starts the Jesus story by looking back to Isaiah 40:2-3, who said, “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.”
In today’s passage, John the Baptist was preaching in the wilderness. John as a Nazirite lived and worked in the desert and the word of God came to him in the desert; many people came to hear him preach.
I assume that crowds who came from everywhere were just curious, curious about the way he looked and the way he talked.
Imagine the reaction of the crowds, especially his followers, when John said, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and unite the thong of his sandals.”
Yes, John was not a leading actor in the birth story of Jesus, but was a supporting actor, who prepared the way.
My questions for each of us are these: Who is the leading actor in our story of Advent? How do we prepare for the Lord who comes to us?
Is it true that we think more about how we celebrate Christmas and how we tell the stories of Christmas rather than how we prepare Christmas, and how we live out the stories of Christmas? What are we supposed to do as the prep workers?
Thank God, we are the prep, just getting to prepare. We do not have such power to heal the blind and deaf, to make the crippled to walk, and even to make the dead alive. Remember that it does not mean that we may be free from the prep work.
We may hold a hand for those who are blind. We may stand by for those who are deaf. We may walk alongside the crippled. And, we may mourn and be in deep grief at the loss of others. These are the things that need to be done as we are waiting for the savior, Jesus Christ.
The text for today’s reading in this season of Advent reminds us that we are supporting actors, servants, and the prep, the ones who prepare and wait for the Lord, a leading actor.
It is time not only to celebrate the birth of Jesus, but also to prepare God’s way to fulfill the kingdom of God on Earth.
It is time not only to tell the stories of Jesus, but also to live out the way of Jesus and to be a part of God’s story.
It is time to remember who we are, as the prep, to be a forerunner of peace, to make a voice for the voiceless, and to stand up for the poor and powerless. Amen.