Let me begin here...
Mark 1:1-8 (a paraphrase)
1 This is where my account of the Good News Story begins, my witness concerning my belief that Jesus is Christ and is the Son of God.
2 Before we go further, remember what the prophets wrote. The prophet Malachi wrote, "I will send my messenger ahead of you and this messenger will prepare the people for your coming." And the prophet Isaiah wrote, " 3 "This is a voice of one who from the wilderness proclaims, 'Prepare the way for the Lord. Make the straight the road for him.' " With that in mind, we go on.
4 John the cousin of Jesus was baptizing people in the wilderness. He was preaching a baptism that signified the changing of peoples lives both inwardly and outwardly. This involved the forgiveness of their sins.
5 Crowds of people from the region of Judea and the city of Jerusalem were journeying out into this wilderness region to see and hear him. When they came, they confessed their sins and then were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
6 John wore a tunic made from camel's hair. He wore a leather belt around his waist. He lived on a diet of locusts and wild honey.
7 The heart of John's message was this: "There shall soon come one who is greater than me. Why I am not even qualified to kneel and untie his sandals. 8 I baptize you with water, but the One who will come will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
The Journal of Jesus Josephson, a Carpenter from Galilee
My Father, I suppose the hour has come for it all to begin. From my youngest days, my mother and father have told me the stories of the divine destiny that they believed fell to me. And through these years of working in the carpenter's shop and through my years of rabbinical studies in the Nazareth synagogue, I do believe, no - I have come to know - that I have heard that call of Your Voice and I have felt that draw of Your Spirit.
Now my cousin John is already at work, beckoning our people to prepare for the liberation of our land and the restoration of Your Realm by the cleansing of our lives and the redirection of our living. The people are flocking to him. They are sensing that the hour has come. As does John and as do I.
Now I sit here on this rocky ledge here in this vast wilderness looking down upon the Jordan River. I can hear John's booming voice; I can see the crowds making their way into the waters, one by one, in the hundreds. And I know, Father, the time has come - my time, our time, their time. Walk with me, Father, as we make this journey together.
I am a pastor of thirty-five years, a disciple of Christ, a servant of God, a publisher of a daily devotional called the Peace River Devotional. I am married to a godly woman and have two sons in Christian ministry.
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