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Advance Team – Mark 1:1-8

Read Mark 1:1-8

I have a good friend who lives on the water in Panama City, Florida. Several years ago, he was privileged to host George H.W. Bush, the 41st President, on a coastal fishing trip. The night before they went fishing, the President ate dinner at the family table. For weeks my friend and his family had been preparing for the President’s arrival. There was no shortage of inspections done on the house and family by an “advance team” of the Secret Service. The family didn’t mind in the least, and were also investing their share of elbow grease preparing the home for his arrival. There’s an old joke in Britain that says wherever the Queen goes, she smells fresh paint. If someone told you that the President, or Governor, or some famous athlete or celebrity was coming to your home, you’d probably straighten some things up in anticipation, and do it rather excitedly.

The gospel of Mark opens with John the Baptist on the Messiah’s “advance team.” He’s not there for Jesus’ security, though, nor does he come with a sentence of doom. He comes with good news – the Messiah is coming! It’s time to get ready! John comes to prepare the way. As you reflect on your life, who is it that helped to prepare your heart for Jesus? Who still does that today? (He doesn’t just come to us once.) What is it about their lives, their ways, or their relationship with you that helps to “prepare the way” in your life? Take a moment and thank God for them. Perhaps, you should think about writing them a note or sending them a text.

Now consider yourself in John the Baptist’s sandals. Who are the people in your life that you can help prepare to receive the Messiah personally? Take a moment and pray for your courage and their hearts. Every follower of Jesus is also a part of his “advance team.” It’s really the only time we are to be out in front of Jesus.

Grace and Peace,

Chris Seidman

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