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DECEMBER 24

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

Proclaiming

“John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness,

proclaiming a baptism of repentance

for the forgiveness...

The Fourth Sunday of Advent : December 24

December 24, 2017

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December 4-5

December 4, 2017

DECEMBER 4-5

 

The Beginning of the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

 

These ringing words that open the Gospel according to Mark are as bold as a royal declaration, as comforting as a quiet prayer. They read as an ageless headline that might be found on a papyrus scroll, or printed on a medieval sheet ornamented by cloistered monks, or even as a digitized message flung into God's unbounded universe.

 

Immediately we know that this gospel describes a beginning, a New Testament record of the miraculous life of Jesus.  But it does not begin with Christ's extraordinary birth, that holy night when angels sang their joy above the sheep-strewn plains of Judea, and all of humanity paused as divinity came into its midst. Immanuel. God with us!

 

Instead, Mark has moved time forward and we meet Jesus as an adult, going about his father's business through healing and teaching those who have found faith in God.  Certainly, the good news in the teachings and works of Jesus came at a time when news was seldom good, and prophets like John the Baptist shouted vengeance to the unrepentant from an angry and fearsome God. 

 

Instead, Jesus brought good news to all people through examples of peace, justice, and love.  Mark's gospel is not merely a resume of miracles. It is a record of Jesus living his ministry among the people of his time, but most especially among the poor, the sick, the sinful and persecuted, who sought mercy in this life and the promise of salvation in the next.  The Gospel according to Mark preserves the life and works of Jesus Christ for all generations to know, in the beginning and forever; world without end. 

 

Richard Quick

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