On this Wednesday in the third week of Advent, we hear from the very beginning of the Gospel according to Mark. Notice how there is no birth narrative; rather, Mark starts with John the Baptizer:
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord,make his paths straight” ’,
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’ (Mk. 1: 1-8).
To be sure, the world that we live in today can feel very much like a wilderness. In the aftermath of the events in Sandy Hook, we are learning of a young man who was mentally ill, fond of violent video games, and was part of a broken family and a parent who had many guns because she was afraid of being attacked in a society that is rampant with relativism which has lost a collective moral compass. Many of these mass shootings have been done by young people with mental issues who have addictions to violent video games who have become desensitized to the reality of death.
During this season of Advent as we prepare to celebrate Christ’s coming in the Feast of the Incarnation, and as we look forward for him to come again, let us look for the hope of Jesus in the present. You and I, the Church, the Body of Christ, are called to proclaim the Goo News of Jesus and to be a prophetic voice preparing his way into the hearts of our communities. Christ brings light into the darkness of our world. Although at times things may seem hopeless, with Christ they are not because he has redeemed us. We need to tell the world the Good News.
Let us pray: Gracious God, in the midst of darkness, reveal the light of your Son Jesus who is the Christ, and send your Holy Spirit to renew the face of the earth. Amen.
Thursday, 20 December starting at 11 a.m. the Seaside Seniors will have their Christmas luncheon in Sutton Hall at St. Augustine's.
Next Sunday, 23 December, we will have our Christmas pot luck lunch.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+St. Augustine Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550