“The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is
written in Isaiah the prophet, “Behold, I send my messenger
before thy face, who shall prepare thy way; the voice of one
crying in the wilderness; Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight--” (Mark 1:1-3)
This is Year B in the Lectionary. That means that we’ll have a chance to hear and read passages from the Gospel of Mark for our Gospel readings all year. But, during Advent there are only two passages that we read.
That’s because Mark (or John either) didn’t start their narratives with the birth of Jesus. Mark begins the story with John the Baptist and then jumps immediately into the ministry of Christ.
Each year during Advent we have one Sunday that focuses on John’s message of the coming ministry of the Christ. And his message was always the same: there is one coming after me whose message will be important—so wait for him and listen to him.
That’s what Advent is supposed to be about. We are to wait for the coming of Jesus our Christ and then listen to him.
I love the music and the pageantry. I love the excitement of the season. But the really important thing about Christ’s coming is the message that He brought to us. And that message can be summed up in one word – love.
Christ came because God loved the whole world. Christ loved us so much that He gave himself for us. Christ continues to love us and comfort and support us and even intervene for us with our God.
So, Advent is about waiting and hoping and listening. This month as we journey through Advent, let’s remember John and do just that: wait and hope and listen. And then the joy of Christmas will burst upon us and help us grow in love.