John the Baptist seemed to be focused in on one thing: repent of your sins. Many people came to John to confess their sins and to be baptized with water. But John also had a much bigger picture in mind. His mission had much more to do with the “why” of people needing to repent. John knew Jesus was about to change the world forever and he knew people’s hearts had to be right to accept Christ.
It is fitting to find this scripture and its message at the start of Advent. In Advent we look forward with anticipation as we say, “Jesus is coming!” The same feeling to need to be prepared for celebrating Christ’s birth is a part of our waiting. We need to be at our ‘best’ to welcome into the world this newborn King. He needs to find us ready.
So John’s message to repent calls out to us too. In this challenging time of year where the world says to buy more, be busier, live it up, celebrate the presents – John says to slow down, focus in on Christ, repent of sin, prepare for the coming gift of Christ. This gift comes bearing hope, peace, joy, and love. He comes bringing justice, forgiveness, and inclusion. May we be in Advent a vessel that is clean and full of all that Christ has to offer. May we celebrate the gifts of Christ and share them with a world so in need.
Scripture reference: Mark 1: 1-8