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Mark 1:1-8 - Sunday Scripture Reflection

As we gather for the Second Sunday of Advent, we are introduced to the person and the words of the prophet, John the Baptist. The Gospel according to Mark does not include a birth narrative of Jesus, as does both Luke and Matthew, but instead begins immediately with the ministry of John and Jesus. For Mark, it seems that "where Jesus comes from" is not nearly as important as recognizing that Jesus is here, among us, and to get ready! John the Baptist proclaims Jesus' appearance, and tells us to repent and be ready to live a life that is consistent with God's hope for us.

Our Scripture passage is found in the Gospel according to Mark. You may find the Scripture lesson by selecting the following link: (Mark 1:1-8).

For continuing study, reflect on these questions (found in the study guide below):

  • Read the Scripture lesson for the week, and reflect on any words or phrases that might stand out in your reading.

  • Read the "WHAT..." paragraph in the guide below, and reflect on the story's message that God can abruptly break into our lives in unexpected ways. What do you think of the gathered crowds, both from the countryside and the city...two very different types of people, all seeking what God is up to!

  • Read the "WHERE..." paragraph below and reflect on the author's statement, "Jesus may shock us when he comes and shows us who we really are before God." In what ways do you think Jesus might surprise you if you met him today?

  • Read the "SO WHAT..." paragraph below and reflect on people who you have known or have come to learn about that have done God's work before you. What do you think of the statement: "There's humility in recognizing those who came before us." And do you agree with this statement?

  • Read the "NOW WHAT..." paragraph below and reflect on the author's statement that the message that John brings is a "bracing reflective look" at our past, rather than the "warm, fuzzy nostalgia" that can often become part of our religious traditions. What do you think of this comparison, and how might we fall into the trap of romatic nostalgia, rather than honest reflection and repentance?

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