A Voice in the Wilderness

3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness:

‘Prepare the way of the Lord;

Make His paths straight.’ ”

Mark 1:3 NKJV

As we approach this coming holiday season, the warnings have already gone out that supplies will be low, deliveries will be running late, and the price of everything will be going up. Many people will not heed the warning and will not prepare ahead of time. As a result, a lot of Christmas expectations will not be met.

When I think about the Christmas story, I think about all the characters who play a part in the story. We have Mary, Joseph, an angel, Mary’s aunt Elizabeth and husband Zacharias, shepherds, more angels, wise men, and King Herod.

Of course, the main character is Jesus Himself. While the account of Jesus’s birth is important, if we are not careful, we will overlook the true importance of His birth. It’s not just the facts of how he was born that are important, but the importance lies in why He was born.

Mark, in his gospel doesn’t even mention any detail about the birth of Jesus. He does, however, mention one other person who has a small part (as a fetus) in the “how” of the birth story, but a huge part in the “why.” The NLT sets the stage in Mark 1:1-4:

1 This is the Good News about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God. It began 2 just as the prophet Isaiah

had written: "Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, and he will prepare your way. 3 He is a

voice shouting in the wilderness, 'Prepare the way for the LORD's coming! Clear the road for him!'"

4 This messenger was John the Baptist. He was in the wilderness and preached that people should be

baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven.

Long before John and Jesus were born, Isaiah the prophet predicted that before Messiah began His ministry, one would prepare the way for the people by being a “voice…crying in the wilderness.” This preparation includes belief, repentance, and obedience to identify with Him in baptism.

Today, as we approach Christmas, we too can be a voice to explain the why of the birth of Jesus. Even though we live in a growing city, it is a spiritual wilderness. We need to prepare the way in people’s hearts so that they can hear and respond to the gospel.

I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.


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