We are well into the season of Advent, a time to remember both Christ’s birth in the stable in Bethlehem on that first Christmas over 2,000 years ago and his Second Coming. This time of remembrance includes a time of preparation. We have to prepare our hearts and minds to receive him. This can be hard to do at this time of the year because we are busy decorating our homes, buying gifts, attending Christmas parties, concerts and pageants and the many other events that are held at this time of year.
We can prepare ourselves by studying God’s Word, especially the story of Christ’s birth. A good place to start is with Mark’s Gospel, especially Mark 1:1-8. Mark gets right to the heart of the matter. His Gospel does not include Jesus’ family tree like the Gospels of Matthew and Luke do. Mark’s Gospel does not even include the stories of Jesus’ birth, the angel Gabriel’s visit to the Virgin Mary, the visit of the Three Wise Men or any of the other stories that are associated with Christmas. Mark begins his Gospel by calling Jesus the Son of God. In fact, this is a frequent theme in Mark’s Gospel. Mark declares both the deity of Jesus and God as his heavenly Father.