Prayer: Open our eyes to new people who may be different but have much to share. Amen
Reading: Mark 1: 4-11 (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: People watching is a pasttime for some. You can do it at the mall, in a restaurant, on the bus. The world is full of interesting people. All with their own story and purpose. All children of God.
People were watching John the Baptist who appeared in the wilderness, wore camel's hair clothes and ate locusts and wild honey. He would be interesting anywhere. In the wilderness, at the well or at the synagogue.
But people didn't just watch John the Baptist. They listened. They realized he had something to share. He proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins and many were baptized by him in the River Jordan.
However, John told them to keep watching. Watch for the one to come after. The one for whom John was preparing the way. The one who John said would be more powerful and would baptize, not with water, but with the Holy Spirit. So the people kept watching. Where would this person appear? The well, the wilderness, the synagogue?
A new year is starting; new people will come into our lives. They may be very different but all have a story and a purpose. All are children of God. You may see God in them. They may see God in you. Keep watching. --Ruth Gates
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