Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Proclaiming or Baptizing?

Today's Reading: Mark 1-4

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1: 4 NRSV

The good news of Mark begins with John the baptizer. Or is he John the proclaimer? The gospel spends as much time on John's words as with Johns actions. In fact, the way Mark opens emphasizes John's voice and message over the baptisms. The baptisms are actually in response to what John is saying rather than the other way around. Folks come out to hear John and end up being moved to ask for forgiveness. This leads to their cleansing or baptism.

John's message makes it easier for folks (us included) to receive God's gift of Christ. We are prepared by realizing we have fallen short and being forgiven of our sins. Then we are ready to listen and follow Jesus.

Are you more an action witness or a vocal witness to Jesus' love and forgiveness? Although it is true that actions speak louder than words, it is our words that can touch people's hearts and turn them toward Jesus. I always tell people that if you are have a relationship with another person, it is easier to talk about what God has done in your own life. Certainly, your actions must follow your words. But it is the actual message that people need to hear with their ears, not just see with their eyes, for them to follow Christ.

God, may we speak with love and grace as much as we act with the same. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims

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