Readings: Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; Isaiah 40:1-11; 2 Peter 3:8-15a; Mark 1:1-8
Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that she has served her term, that her penalty is paid, that she received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain.
Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” [Isaiah 40:1-5, NRSV]
The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news. [Mark: 1:15, NRSV]
There’s music in the scriptures today on this second Sunday in Advent, and not just from the Psalms.
Way back in 1966, the Temptations came out with their hit song Get Ready. I could imagine a musical along the lines of Godspell, featuring this song and some of the lines would not even need to be changed, e.g., And I’m bringing you a love that’s true so get ready; or I’m gonna try to make you love me too, so get ready—truly an Advent song when given a spiritual context.
And then who can possibly say these words from Isaiah without hearing Handel’s Messiah?
The first words Mark ascribes to Jesus above are interpreted by Eugene Peterson in “The Message” as :Time”s up! God’s kingdom is here. Change your life and believe the Message.
That sums up Mark’s gospel in a nutshell.
Dear God, help us accept your love this Advent.
Offered by Bill Albritton, teacher, bound for Bethlehem.