Mark gets right to it in his biography of Jesus: “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God….” The coming of God’s Son into this world is certainly good news—amazing and powerful news for a world suffering the effects of sin and decay at every turn. And the Messiah’s coming certainly takes preparation, so God Himself makes the preparations through sending His messenger, John the Baptist. The story of John’s message is simple: there is One who is coming, great and powerful, and He will baptize with the Holy Spirit; repentance and forgiveness are the order of the day. The One who brings God’s reign to bear has drawn near. What are you doing to prepare the way…in your home…in your neighborhood…in your own life? What does it mean to you that you have been brought under the reign of Jesus, the Chosen One?
The season of Advent is a time when we anticipate and prepare for Christ’s coming: preparing to celebrate with joy His coming on that first Christmas as well as preparing to receive Him when He comes again. The Scriptures that engage us during this season of Advent tell the story of watching, waiting, preparing, telling the good news, and trusting in God’s promises. In the midst of all the things that fill our lives with the busyness and the trappings of the season, our Lord fills us with something substantive to share: the hopeful expectation of Jesus’ coming, along with new ways to engage others as we tell His story.