John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” vs. 4Mark 1:1-4
When Mark wrote his gospel, very likely the first of the four we have in the New Testament, he didn’t include any stories about angels or shepherds or the birth of a baby in Bethlehem. Perhaps he hadn’t heard of such things. But he does know about John the baptizer and his ministry in the wilderness of Judea, and he knew how influential John was–many had considered him to be the messiah. Mark, though, found in the writings of Isaiah a passage about a voice crying out in the wilderness, and believed that it fit John like a glove. John’s ministry was one of preparation. He had appeared in the wilderness to prepare the way for Jesus, and from what we read in Mark and the other gospels, that’s exactly what he did. John was the catalyst for the work of the Spirit, and through him Jesus received his call to bring good news to our good and broken world. This is the way the Spirit has continued to work through the years. We become who we are called to be because some other person has been the faithful voice of God in our ears, and through that person the Holy Spirit has changed our lives. By hook and by crook we have made our way out of the wilderness, and into the presence of the Shepherd. It’s a never ending good news story!
Thought for the Day: Who has been my John?