And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.” Mark 1:7
Transparency for Jesus. John the Baptist was this wonderfully pure and focused messenger of preparing for salvation. History is replete with disciples of Christ who have helped us deepen our understanding and relationship with the Jesus by what they said and how they lived. Who has done that for you? How have you done that for others?
Then the wolf shall be a guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat; The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them. Isaiah 11:6
Jesus the Christ came to realize that vision. The final vision is that not only will all men and women recognize that they are brothers and sisters called to live in unity, but all members of God’s creation will come together in complete harmony. How can you keep the vision of the peaceable kingdom and God’s beloved community alive in your sphere of influence?
A voice cries out In the desert, prepare the way of the LORD!. Isaiah 40:3
The primary condition for a fruitful and rewarding Advent is abandonment and surrender. We must let go of all our mistaken dreams, our conceited poses and arrogant gestures – all the pretenses with which we deceive ourselves and others with. Have you looked in the mirror of your life yet? What is your life preparing for?
The Word Among Us
I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Mark 1:8
The Holy Spirit has many purposes. He reveals God’s love to us. He helps us understand Scripture. He teaches us how to live as brothers and sisters. He holds the Church together and moves us to work for the kingdom of God. And so much more! How is the Holy Spirit working in your life?
Give Us This Day
I am not worthy. Mark 1:7
Worthiness. So many of us are challenged to see ourselves as worthy. John, the great messenger for the coming of the savior, Jesus, explains the inexpressible gift that was coming to all humankind – Christ’s gift of himself. While none is worthy of this wholly unmerited gift, it should, however, be the most precious gift that we seek in our lives. How do you value the gift of Jesus Christ in your life?
Kenosis, or self-emptying, is revealed in the Trinity. The Cappadocian Fathers of the fourth century saw that God the Father, who is Love, completely empties God’s self into the Son; the Son empties into the Spirit; and the Spirit empties into the Father. Incarnation flows from this kenosis that is inherent to God’s nature. Jesus’ entire life demonstrates how God loves unconditionally and selflessly.
Jesus had only one “operational mode.” In whatever life circumstance, Jesus always responded with the same motion of self-emptying—or to put it another way, of the same motion of descent: going lower, taking the lower place, not the higher. We as Christians, need to get back to the foundations and the One we follow, Jesus Christ, through a practice of self-emptying and incarnation. These are both key to a deeper connection with our faith.