Introduction: For hundreds of years many Christian traditions have read passages of scripture using a tool called a lectionary. This Advent season our devotional team decided to resource you with selections from the Revised Common Lectionary. You will encounter texts from the Psalms, the Prophets, and the New Testament as well as formal prayers. Each text has been selected to build anticipation for the coming of Christ – the Light of the World – amid the dark, cold days of winter. Reflect on the first coming of Christ while yearning for his second coming.
Note. If you desire to read these passages in a different version of the Bible, this link will provide all the readings for week 2 in Bible Gateway where you may also choose other versions of these passages.)
Mark 1:1-8 NIV
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” –“a voice of one calling in the desert, `Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.'”
And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me will come one more powerful than I, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Did you notice the connections from the Isaiah 40:1-11 reading on Monday and this one? Mark quotes Isaiah 40:3 here. Think of the meaning of these verses in your life as you pray this prayer.
God of hope,
you raised up John the baptizer
as a herald who calls us to conversion.
As we joyfully await the glorious coming of Christ,
we pray to you for the needs of the church and the world.
Prayers of the People, concluding with:
Hear our humble prayer
that we may serve you in holiness and faith
and give voice to your presence among us
until the day of the coming of your Son, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.