Prayer: O Jesus, awaken me. Your Kingdom is at hand.
Imagination: (Picture John preaching at the Jordan.)
Mark has no Christmas stories (as does Matthew and Luke). He has no Prologue, as does John. He begins his gospel with John the Baptist as his opening preacher. However, before introducing John, Mark reveals the secret that Jesus is the Son of God.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Here begins the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Isaiah the prophet writes, “Behold, I send my messenger before you to prepare your way. A voice crying in the desert, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight his paths.’”
John was in the desert baptizing and preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. All from the countryside of Judea and all of Jerusalem went out to him in the desert. They were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.
John was clothed in camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. The theme of his preaching was, “There comes after me one stronger than I. The strap of his sandals I am not worthy to loose. I have baptized you with water but he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
1. The gospel does not mean the gospel books. It means the powerful, saving actions of Jesus’ preaching, death and rising.
2. Mark keeps no one in suspense. His first sentence proclaims Jesus as the Son of God.
3. John is not the Messiah. He is the messenger, the angel of the Lord.
4. He is the voice, not the Word. He will move quickly off the scene. Jesus, the Word, will abide.
5. He cries out in a desert (the solitude needed to hear God speak).
6. All go out to him. To hear his word, they must make a difficult journey.
7. He delivers a clear message. Someone coming after him is stronger and will baptize in the Holy Spirit.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
1. O Jesus, let me experience the saving power of your gospel.
2. John’s voice leads me to you.
3. You are the Son of God, and King of my life.
4. Lead me, Jesus, into the desert of solitude, where all other voices are silent.
5. I will seek you out. I will go wherever you are.
6. Baptize me in your Holy Spirit. Pour out your divine fire. This is why you have come.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
1. I will seek some moments of solitude
2. I will ask Jesus to baptize me in his Spirit.
Thought for the day: (To recall your meditation)
Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight his paths.