Today’s Reading: Mark 1:1-8
“John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.” – Mark 1:4-5
Yesterday, you were asked about your stress level these days. Today, I ask you whether your stress has led to some sin. We all know how it can go. You get frustrated with the slowness of the store clerk because you are in a hurry. Then you think some unholy thoughts about them. You’re tired and stressed so you bark at someone in the family or turn to some bad habits to help you cope.
It is where the cry of John the Baptist in Mark 1 still cries out to us today. It is the cry that called the people of John’s day to repentance. John is calling the people to turn from their sin and guilt, confess their sins to God, and then offer them a place to receive forgiveness for their sins in baptism.
God works the same way today. When we sin, we have a place to go. By God’s Grace we can go to Christ to confess our sins, asking for His forgiveness for all those times, and you can know they are forgiven as Christ says to you in the words of Holy Absolution: YOU are forgiven!
Prayer: Arise, O Christian people! Prepare yourselves today; Prepare to greet the Savior, Who takes your sins away. To us by grace alone The truth and light were given; The promised Lord from heaven To all the world is shown. (Arise, O Christian People, LSB 354:1).
This devotion was written by Reverend Christopher Lockie, pastor at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA.