The theme of Mark’s gospel is Jesus, the Strong Man of God. We heard Mark’s voice punctuated with enthusiasm announcing the Gospel about Jesus Christ! Now Mark emphatically informs his readers of two other prophetic voices (Malachi and Isaiah) declaring the arrival of John the Baptist. Malachi’s excerpt announces the coming of a messenger who will precede God’s own coming to the temple for judgement and blessing. The text calls for repentance which aligns with John’s own message and baptismal ritual. Isaiah’s text comforts the people of God with a message of redemption. God will level mountains and raise valleys in order to make a path for Israel and the people of God to be redeemed. Mark clarifies John’s requirement for redemption and forgiveness: confession and repentance…admitting our sin, confessing to others, and confessing to God. He pleads with us to hear this call of the gospel and to respond with our voice a resounding YES!
“If you’re searching”, God, I admit I am a sinner and cannot save myself to life eternal. I believe in You and Your power to forgive! Hear my confession of sins; I invite You into my heart to live and reign forever. Amen!
“If you’re following”, Father, make me ever aware of my sinful condition so that I keep short accounts with You. Give me the humility to confess to those I have sinned against. Remind me that through confession of my sins, all things can be redeemed according to Your will and power.