Sunday, December 6, 2015

Reflection: Mark 1:1-8

This passage from the Gospel of Mark focuses on John the Baptist.  The first few verses of this Gospel identify who John is.  The opening verse of this Gospel names John as the one who was “sent from God.”  John’s role was to testify to the “Light,” not to be the Light!  John is humble in the best sense of the word. He does not demean himself, nor does he exalt himself.  John understood his role at this time in Israel’s history: he was to point the way to the One who would come! 
The priests and Levites kept asking John: “Who are you?” John made it clear to them that he was not the Christ.  They asked if he was Elijah or the Prophet.  John simply responded to their question with three simple words: “I am not.”  John was a man who knew who he was and what he was called to do.  He was not the Christ.  However, he had an important role to play in Jesus’ life and ministry.  First and foremost, John was a “man of God.”  His role was to be the forerunner for Jesus.  He was to point his followers to the way to Christ. 
John must have been a mesmerizing preacher.  People from all walks of life had heard about John.  They wanted to see for themselves!  Seekers from all areas of Judea as well as citizens of Jerusalem gathered to hear John preach.  He was a powerful orator but he also had a powerful presence.  First and foremost though, John was a “man of God.”  Many people came to him to be baptized.
John did not desire acclaim for himself.  His knew that his call was to proclaim the coming of the Messiah.  John told his listeners that “one mightier than I” would come after him.  John also said that this man also would baptize but He would baptize with the Holy Spirit.  Ask yourself: How would you react if a “prophet” in your town began proclaiming that “one mightier than I” will be coming?  Would we automatically discount this prophecy?  At various times we have heard prophecies telling us that the “end of the world” was coming---and yet we are still here on this planet.
Yet one day Christ will come again!  We don’t need to wait for that day to come.  Christ comes to us every day of our lives. Are we aware of His coming?  Do we notice His presence as we go about our day?  Today be attentive: Christ will come to you! 
I know that on some days I “miss” Christ’s coming.  Perhaps I am too busy or my mind or heart is closed. Today is a good day to consciously and deliberately look for Christ as we move through our day.  Christ is among us!  However, we must be awake and alert for his coming! Or will we be too busy or too preoccupied to notice Him?  I pray we have eyes to see Him and hearts to trust Him!

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