12th December – Mark 1:1-3
The ‘Dales Way’ is a long distance, 84 mile, footpath running from Ilkley to Bowness in the Lake District. It is way-marked and signposted amazingly well and it is almost impossible to get lost.
This passage at the beginning of Mark’s gospel can be seen as way-marking or signposting us to the Christmas story.
It reflects signposting in a number of ways:
It says it is the beginning of the gospel (good news) about Jesus.
It uses two prophecies the first from Malachi 3:1 “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” and the second from Isaiah 40:3 “a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make paths straight for him’” to signpost the ministry of John the Baptist.
It introduces us to John, who was prophesied as being one of the most significant signposts to the coming of Jesus.
The prophecies in the Old Testament and the story of John, signposted people to the fact Jesus was coming. At Christmas we celebrate this coming in the context of Jesus later dying for our sins and becoming our Saviour.
In the world this Christmas there will be few signposts to Jesus and the way he can transform our lives. Imagine the 84 miles of the Dales Way where the way marks are pointing the wrong way or are not there at all.
Christmas is an opportunity for us, ordinary Christians, to be the signposts and way-markers to Jesus, showing people to right direction to go.
Father God, thank you for loving us so much that you sent Jesus to be our Saviour. This Christmas help us to reflect Jesus in our lives so that people we meet are signposted to the amazing transforming power of a relationship with you.