Posted by: Pauline | September 16, 2018

Scriptures for Sunday September 23

Isaiah 40:1-8

The opening message of Isaiah 40 is about comfort. For a lot of people, this sounds like being made comfortable. But the kind of comfort presented here is rather different. It proclaims forgiveness of sins but does not downplay the reality of judgment for sin. It announces the coming of the Lord in glory, and that this coming means some preparation needs to be done first. It reminds us of the permanence of God and His word, and that we, on the other hand, are no more permanent than grass. The comfort is not in finding out that life will be as we want it to be, but in that God cares about us and will make life as He intends it to be.

Mark 1:2-8

Today, when the president visits a city, there is a lot of preparation first to be sure the route he passes through will be safe. This includes metal detectors, screening of those who will be allowed hear him, lots of Secret Service agents, and roads blocked to ordinary traffic.

In Jesus’ day, preparations also had to be made when a king was going to be traveling through the area. A herald was sent ahead to let people know the king was coming, and the roads had to be prepared for the king and his retinue, clearing obstacles and filling in holes in the road. In Mark 1, John was the herald sent ahead of Jesus, announcing that the king was coming and that people needed to repent in order to prepare for the king’s coming.

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