Blog — 3rd December 2020
Second Sunday in Advent
06 December 2020
THE COMING ONE
[ Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; Isaiah 40:1-11; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8 ]
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is the good news of the arrival of God’s kingdom in the world. But why is Jesus the beginning of the good news? How can we be sure of it and is this still good news for us today?
One simple answer is that this is part of our history: ‘As it is written,’ Mark says. There is no need to imagine or to deny it. We have a cloud of witnesses who alerted us to expect this, ‘The LORD will give what is good’ (Ps 85:12) and ‘Prepare the way of the LORD’ for he comes with might (Isa 40:3, 10). And now the time is fulfilled (Mark 1:15). John the Baptist, the messenger, appears from the wilderness to testify about this powerful Messiah, the Son of God, who is about to baptise his people with the Holy Spirit and to reveal God’s sacrificial love for humanity. The rest of the New Testament helps us understand how Jesus’ ministry is God’s perfect and hopeful plan for humanity, how he transforms people, unites and gives them hope, how those people themselves become carriers of the good news of God’s great plan for the world. But knowing the testimonies of others is not enough. The good news can be ours when we are a part of it just as Mark, John the Baptist, Peter, Paul and others before us. The good news is meant to make us truly open-minded, viewing our lives against the canvas of God’s eternal plan for his creation. It remains relevant if we continue asking ourselves, ‘What is our place as individuals and communities in God’s big picture?’
Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies