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September 14, 2015, Mark 1:1-12

Looking up from under water, with sunrays streaming through water surface

 

Prayer for Illumination

Living God, open my heart, mind, and body to experience you in this reading of scripture, that in experiencing you I might grow into someone who brings you honor. Amen.

Reading – Mark 1:1-12

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight” ’,
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And 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. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He 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. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’
The Baptism of Jesus

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’
The Temptation of Jesus

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

In today’s first reading from the Gospel of Mark, there are three main events. First, we learn about John the Baptist, then about Jesus, then we witness the baptism of Jesus. Notice that the Gospel of Mark makes a terrible Christmas gospel. There is no manger, no Bethlehem even. Instead, the gospel and Christ’s ministry begin with his baptism by a man dressed and behaving like an Old Testament Prophet–John the Baptist.

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Reflection

In today’s first reading from the Gospel of Mark,  there are three main events. First, we learn about John the Baptist, then about Jesus, then we witness the baptism of Jesus. Notice that the Gospel of Mark makes a terrible Christmas gospel. There is no manger, no Bethlehem even. Instead, the gospel and Christ’s ministry begin with his baptism by a man dressed and behaving like an Old Testament Prophet–John the Baptist.

To Ponder:
1. How does this baptism set the scene for Jesus’ life and ministry?
2. Have you been baptized? What do you remember about it, or what have you heard about it?
3. Reflect on how your baptism has shaped the road you have taken.

To Post:
If you’re participating in these daily readings through Facebook, comment to this post with your baptism date. If you have a picture, share it!

You are also free to comment on the blog, Facebook, or Twitter with any other comments.

Opportunity for Action

Keep an eye out today for water. Notice it all day and each time you see it, touch it, or taste it, remember today’s reading and the church’s invitation to “remember your baptism and be thankful.”

 

Closing Prayer

Offer your own prayer or simply close your time of reflection with the Lord’s Prayer spoken aloud.