Read Mark 1:1-8:
The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. As it is written in Isaiah the prophet: See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way. A voice of one crying out in the wilderness: Prepare the way for the Lord; make his paths straight! John came baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. John wore a camel-hair garment with a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “One who is more powerful than I am is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the strap of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
While you don’t have to wear camel hair, eat locust and honey, and live in the wilderness, you do have to prepare the way for Jesus! John the Baptist was the poster child for Jesus’ preparation. Remember that that is exactly what Advent is all about? It’s a season of preparation for the coming of Jesus. So, John was all about Advent, whether he knew it or not!
While John was definitely extreme, his message is the same message we need to declare today. We should be actively preparing for Jesus. We need to make it simple, plain, easy for people to hear the message of Jesus. Jesus must increase and we must decrease.
How can you simplify the message of Jesus to your friends? Family? Neighbors?
What do you need to do to make Jesus increase in your life and make yourself decrease?