The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 2
|Boehner Garden Milwaukee, WI|
2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,The story begins with a messenger. Before we meet Jesus, the anointed one, the Son of God, we meet the one sent to prepare the way. The people from near and far are invited to get ready. This first step on the journey in the story is to get ready, to be prepared. Besides the story beginning to be told. The people are being invited to be baptized for the forgiveness of sins. John the messenger begins the preparation. He cleanses them with water and invites them to change, to turn back to God. John invites them into forgiveness for those sins that came before.
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
3 the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight” ’,
4John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And 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.6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey.7He 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. 8I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’
Have you ever looked back over your life and seen that what has happened was preparing you for what was to come next? When I look back at my 20s, and think about what I learned and my personal experiences I know they help to prepare me to say yes to God's call. I spent ten years studying political science. I learned a lot about justice, democracy, how people organize themselves in order to push the government to be better, to treat them equally, to create a government that represents the best ideals but in practice is deeply flawed. I learned a lot about how we fall short. I learned about mother's in Central America who protested daily the disappearance of their sons, husbands, fathers;how they faithfully protested and called attention to the plight of the disappeared. I learned about what a difference it makes when aid is given to women rather than men or leaders; the women use the money to improve the lives of the entire family. I learned about the struggles and failures to change governments that don't even see you. I personally learned to live in a community that denigrated my faith and thought that to believe in God was for the uneducated. Yet my faith was also real but I had to learn to speak to disbelief.
When you look back over your life can you trace those moments when you were being prepared even though at the time you didn't realize how it would help you later?
As you settle into a time of quiet and reflection, use the phrase "prepare the way of the Lord" as a breath prayer. Breath in the word "prepare the way" and breath out the words "of the Lord." Let these words fall on your breath as you spend time in quiet. Ask God to prepare you or to show you the experiences that have been preparing you for the next step on your journey.
Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord Godspell