Advent Devotional for December 3rd

Grace and peace,

As we enter the Advent season, we begin our wait for the coming Messiah. This year’s devotional offers a daily passage of scripture and a reflection written by a member of our congregation. I am so grateful to all those who contributed and worked on this project. It is our intention that these daily devotionals become a way to connect with our church and our Creator in meaningful ways.

I hope this devotional book becomes a part of your daily Advent celebration and study. While Advent is a time of waiting and preparation, it is also a time of change and the beginning of something new. God turned the world upside down when God sent Christ into the world. So we encourage you to think of Advent as a time of comfort and joy but also a chance to see the world and God’s word anew as we wait on Emmanuel, God with us.

Robert Galloway
Associate Pastor for Christian Formation

The Proclamation of John the Baptist

1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, Son of God. 2 As it is written in the Prophet Isaiah, “See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; 3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,’ “

Mark opens his gospel with the words of Isaiah, who, as a prophet, served as God’s herald of the Messiah. For ages, heralds were royal messengers sent ahead of rulers with messages for the people. For an event that would change creation, like the fulfillment of the Messianic promise, God sent multiple messengers.

There are many reasons why God may have sent multiple heralds with this same message. Perhaps it was to give the people time to prepare. Perhaps it was so that people did not forget God’s promise. Perhaps it was to provide an example for people to follow. Mark, the gospel writer, fulfills all three of these possibilities. Mark reminds us that we need to prepare ourselves for the Messiah. Mark uses the words of Isaiah to remind us that this is an ancient promise. By writing his gospel, Mark followed the example of Isaiah and John the Baptist. Mark becomes God’s herald. Mark is heralding the truth that Christ did come and will come again. We can echo this ancient message. We can herald to the world the good news that God’s promise is fulfilled and Jesus Christ comes to us again.

The Reverend Robert Galloway

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