God Pause for Sunday, 12/7/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Sunday, 12/7/2014 Reading: Mark 1:1-8

The second stanza of our hymn is a story of unexpected salvation. "I lay in fetters, groaning; you came to set me free." In the midst of life's struggles, when we feel the most lost, broken or alone, Jesus comes to bring hope and second chances. The news is almost more than we dare to believe: Is it true? Is it true for me?

The Gospel of Mark begins not with a trip to the manger, but with the story of John the Baptist. John is calling the people to prepare for the coming of the Lord. The people have been waiting for God to come and help them. And now, John says, the long-anticipated messiah is here. The news is almost more than the weary people dare to believe. But John's call will lead to salvation for them--and for us: Repent, for the one is coming who will forgive your sins.

Lord, we wait for you to come and set us free from despair, shame, emptiness and suffering. Come quickly. Amen.>

Shelley Cunningham Pastor, Zumbro Lutheran Church Rochester, Minn. Master of Divinity, 1998

Mark 1:1-8 (NRSV)

1 The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, "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,' " 4 John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 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. 6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 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. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."

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