The Gospel this Week: John the Baptist preached repentance and baptized the people, in preparation for the one who would baptize with the Holy Spirit. Mark 1:1-8. Mark begins with the appearance of John the Baptist in the desert. On this the Second Sunday of Advent, we are invited to reflect upon the role of John the Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus and the salvation that he would bring to us.
The people of Judea and Jerusalem flock to him, listening to his message of repentance and forgiveness; they also come to him to be baptized. Mark’s Gospel is clear, however, that John the Baptist’s role is only to prepare the way for another who will come, one who is greater than John.
John says that he has baptized with water, but that the one who is to come will baptize with the Holy Spirit. John’s baptism was not yet a Christian baptism, but a preparation for the Sacrament of Baptism through which sins are forgiven and the gift of the Holy Spirit is received.
John the Baptist is presented to us as a model during Advent. We, too, are called upon to prepare a way for the Lord. Like John the Baptist, we are messengers in service to one who is greater than we are. Our Baptism commissions us to call others to life as disciples of Jesus.
Virtual Worship Service: We offer online (zoom) worship service on Sunday morning, 9:30. This platform is an opportunity for us to reach out to more people by sharing the coordinates of the service. As a tool for church mission, we encourage you, sisters, and brothers in Christ, to be God’s messenger like John the Baptist. Archbishop Melissa Skelton will preach during the service.
Church Donations: We continue to invite you to make an offering to support the ministry of the church by sending your titles, pledges and donations through one of the following: Pre-Authorized donations, e-transfer, mailing your offering envelopes, or dropping-off your envelopes in the church mailbox. Please contact the Wardens for details. We appreciate your stewardship! A Reminder: 2020 Tax Receipts must be in the offering plate by Sunday Dec. 27th to count as a 2020 donation.
Prayer: Peace-maker, you gave breath to a voice in the wilderness calling us to prepare, clothe us in the beauty of your compassion and swaddle us against all fear, so that we may rest in your arms of love and share in your way of shalom. We ask this in the name of the one who was, and who is, and who is to come, Jesus the Christ. Amen. St. Hildegard’s Sanctuary, 2018 M. Calabrigo.