Let us continue to work hard to prepare ourselves for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Brothers and Sisters-in-Christ, do you remember how you became a Christian, how you accepted Jesus Christ as your saviour and Lord? Or was there an experience with our Lord Jesus Christ that impacted your life? This is an important milestone, an important testimony of all our lives, one which helps us with our faith in Jesus Christ our Lord.
“We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.” (1 John 4:9)
Today is the 2nd Sunday of the season of Advent where we will remember the role of John the Baptist as the “voice of one crying out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord.” However, from today’s passage, Mark started his gospel account as “the beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God.” Thus, the focus of the Gospel of Mark is still solely on Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Even with the quotation from Isaiah the prophet from the Old Testament and the mention of John the Baptist (verse 4), they still point us to Him and Him only when Mark recorded John’s message to all, “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (verses 7-8)
Brother and sisters in Christ, I believe today is the same. The season of Advent, and today’s passage reminds us that the beginning of the account of our lives, our testimonies, should be about our Lord Jesus Christ. Even though our testimony is important and impactful, 1 John 4:9 says that, “We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.” Thus, whatever that we do, whatever that we say, our ministry, our worship, our services, our Disciple classes, our Precept classes, our fellowship with each other should all converge to our Lord Jesus Christ and not ourselves.
The season of Advent also prepares us for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed, it is important that our posture and the works we do prepare ourselves for His coming. John the Baptist showed us the way, by preaching and bringing people into the community of faith. In verse 5, Mark wrote “The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.” Brothers and sisters in Christ, what are we doing to prepare ourselves for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ? We need to prepare ourselves by continuing to preach about Christ and bring the people to church to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Next week, Mandarin Congregation will be having a Christmas programme to visit our friends who have come for Mandarin services over the year, in the same way angels brought Good News to the shepherds. English Congregation will be having a Christmas Evangelistic Service to invite pre-believing friends and relatives to our church. And on 23rd Dec, we will be having our baptism service for all congregations.
Let us continue to work hard to prepare ourselves for the second coming of Jesus Christ, in the same way John the Baptist prepares all people to receive Him. May our Lord Jesus Christ be the centre of our lives. Amen.
By Rev Joseph Chen