Prayer: As we wait for you, Jesus, help us to see the worth in all that we meet. Amen.
Reading: Mark 1:1-8 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: This weekend, my wife and I had a conversation about Joseph, Mary’s husband. We were talking about what she planned to do at her church during Advent and she said she was focusing yesterday on Joseph. She outlined the other weeks of the month and said, “This year, I just can’t do it. I can’t talk again about John the Baptist. He gets so much attention and there are other characters we don’t hear much about in the lectionary.”
We then had a discussion about Joseph and his role as our savior’s earthly father. I told her what I thought it must be like to be Joseph. I told her about my experience as an expectant father this time of year. We both agreed there was a lot to learn about Joseph.
But, this Sunday our Gospel lesson is about, you guessed it, John. He’s the baptizer. He prepares the way for Jesus and as we’ll hear next month, baptizes Jesus. He has an important role in this story. And that is to remind us that we all need to prepare for Jesus. In this season of Advent, we wait with anticipation and prepare for the Christ-child. Just like John, our lives need to decrease as we allow Christ’s to increase in our lives.
So this Sunday, as you hear the Word and the story of John, remember all of those who are preparing for Jesus- John, Joseph, you and me. We each have worth in God’s eyes and play a role in this most important story. –Chad Hershberger
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