Today was my opportunity to preach on making a good confession to prepare well for Jesus’ coming in grace at Christmas time. I made the point that we should do what people did 2000 years ago when John the Baptist was preparing the people for the first coming of Jesus and his public ministry: All Judea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins.
The gospel passage in full (Mk 1:2-8) is as follows:
It is written in the prophet Isaiah: Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare your way before you. A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.
John the Baptist was in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptised by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins.
John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, ‘After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.’
TODAY’S POINTERS ON GOD’S WORD (www.jesuit.org.sg)
- As you read the passage what words, phases or meanings caught your attention?
- John the Baptist was fearless and committed in proclaiming the truth of Jesus. He was the prophetic voice of God and was beheaded for his commitment.
- John never sought his own glory; only that of God’s. He was called to speak the truth and prepare the way for others to accept Jesus as the Messiah.
- How prophetic, fearless and God centered are we in the way we speak and live out the Truth of our faith to others? How big a price are we willing to pay in making Jesus known daily?
Whatever about truth and prophesy, Garfield believes that the end justifies the means!