Second Sunday of Advent
Reading: Mark 1:1-8
Reflection: The man, John, is an important figure, both in the Gospel story and in our learning to follow Jesus. In Mark’s Gospel there is no dramatic narrative telling of his unique birth and no clear mention of his relationship with Jesus. There is just this strange man who comes, as it were, out of nowhere with a manner and a way of dressing that would immediately have evoked images of the Old Testament prophets in the minds of his hearers. He catches people’s attention, but he doesn’t draw attention to himself. His whole purpose is to point the crowds to another, more important person to come. He is there for no other reason than to prepare people for Christ, and when his job is done, he simply slips into the background again.
There is a tremendous confidence and a tremendous humility represented by John. He was confident in who God had called him to be and in the job he was to do. But, he was humble enough not to let this go to his head, not to claim more for himself than was his right, and not to resist letting go of the attention of the crowds when his time was up. He knew his task, and he did it – no more, no less.
Which raises some challenging questions for us. We may not be Johns or Christs. We may not have any kind of public platform, or any task to do that holds such global significance. But, we are all called and we all have a part to play in God’s reign. So, who are you in Christ? What has God given you to do for the sake of God’s reign? How good are you at judging when to act and when to retreat, when something is yours to do, and when your task is to stand back for others? In what ways can you be more intentional this week at fulfilling God’s call on your life?
Prayer: O God, Who is always preparing me for the coming of your reign, and who is always calling me to help others prepare, teach me what you would have me do; Do not let me hide or despise my particular gifts or tasks, And nudge me when I need to get out of the way and let others do the work; Most of all, help me to have confidence in who you have called me to be, and the humility simply to be myself. Amen.