Updated: Dec 18, 2020
by Hillary Christensen, former Summer Ministry Team member
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.” - Mark 1:1-8 (NRSV)
In Mark, the story of Jesus’ birth is not included. Rather, it starts with the story of John the Baptist. He tells the people whom he is baptizing that there is someone more powerful than him coming. The people will have to wait and hope for that person who will baptize them in the Holy Spirit.
Advent is the season of waiting for Jesus. And this year we are also waiting for an end to this pandemic. With waiting comes hope. Hope that the waiting will end, and what we have been hoping for comes to fruition. Every year the waiting in Advent ends with Jesus being born. It is almost anti-climactic because we know that Advent ends with his birth.
While we wait in this pandemic, Jesus is with us. Just as John the Baptist was with the people, baptizing them and waiting for God incarnate, we have the Holy Spirit waiting with us. We are not alone in our hope. With God, we can spread hope to others who may be feeling alone during this time of the pandemic. We can let them know that even though we are waiting for the birth of Jesus, the Holy Spirit is present with us in our waiting.
Blessings to everyone this Advent season! You are loved by God and are not alone in your waiting!