Sermon Preparation -
December 5, 1999

Mark 1:1-8

This is the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It began just as God had said in the book written by Isaiah the prophet.

   I am sending my messenger to get the way ready for you.
   In the desert someone is shouting,
   "Get the road ready for the Lord!
   Make a straight path for him."

So John the Baptist showed up in the desert and told everyone, "Turn back to God and be baptized! Then your sins will be forgiven."

From all Judea and Jerusalem crowds of people went to John. They told how sorry they were for their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River.

John wore clothes made of camel's hair. He had a leather strap around his waist and ate grasshoppers and wild honey.

John also told the people, "Someone more powerful is going to come. And I am not good enough even to stoop down and untie his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!"


1. Here is the good news a prophetic messenger proceeds the reality of movement from our usual way of looking and experiencing to a new view, a messianic view.

2. We have had such messengers in our lives. Whether we have listened up to this point or not is a wholly other matter. What are you hearing in the world around you today? Is that because of some choices you have made about what you will listen to? Can you listen in a larger way that will help you turn toward GOD? This issue of deciding where we are going to listen is bedrock spiritual discipline material.

3. Having listened larger, what are you proclaiming today? Status quo or need for a change? "Follow me" or "Join me in turning to GOD in the presence of something/someone larger than both of us"?

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