By Dr. Dan Wuori
It’s week number two: the second week of Advent and you may have noticed that we’ve lit another candle. Two candles lit and two more to go! Christmas is drawing closer and closer and before you know it we’ll be celebrating Jesus’ birth.
Tonight’s Gospel reading is a special one, because it’s a prologue. Have you heard that word before––prologue?
A prologue is a part of a story that comes at the very beginning––and it has a special job. Its job it to get you ready––to tell you what you need to know to understand the rest of the story.
And today we hear the prologue to the Gospel of Mark––its very first verses.
In it we meet John the Baptist––who was a very important figure in the Bible.
John was a preacher who helped many people to have their sins forgiven by baptizing them in the River Jordan. Later in his life he would even baptize Jesus.
John was a very important guy––but in the prologue to Mark we hear John saying that someone even more important is coming. This person will be so important, John tells them, that he doesn’t feel like he’ll be important enough to even bend down and untie his sandals.
Can you guess who that special person might be? (I’ll give you a hint: John is getting ready for the same person we are!) That’s right––it’s Jesus.
John tells the people that while he is able to baptize them with water, but that Jesus will be able to baptize them with the Holy Spirit.
Isn’t that a pretty good prologue? Does it make you want to hear more? (Then it did its job!)
All right, before we pray I’m going to give you a special assignment. If you listen very, very closely you’ll learn that John sometimes eats something that’s kind of gross! But I’m not going to tell you what it is. See if you can pick it up from listening carefully and then come whisper it to me later on. Deal?
We know that Advent is the prologue to year in the church. Watch over us during the week ahead as we prepare our hearts for the coming of your son, Jesus Christ, at Christmas.
Copyright 2008 Dan Wuori. Used by permission.