“The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God ... ‘a voice of one calling in the wilderness, “Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.”’
There are four books of the life of Jesus in the Bible. Only two Matthew and Luke take us back to the familiar stories of his birth with Mary and Joseph, Angels, Shepherds and Wise Men and a baby in a manger. John’s telling of Jesus life begins way further back and on a grander stage than a stable - to “the beginning”, describing Jesus as one “through whom all things were made” (John 1v3).
Mark misses out stories of creation and Jesus’ birth. Yet, the first words he wrote - “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah” - reminds us of something important about Christmas. It’s only a beginning!
Christmas can be like one of the rounds on the TV Show a “Question of Sport” where they stop the clip and ask “what happens next?” We get caught up in the lights, and gift giving; the parties and special meals with families. We enjoy watching the children act out the nativity at school and church – often is creative and spontaneous ways! And the words of the traditional carols have a lovely warm familiarity about them.
But it’s just the beginning. There’s a whole lot more of Jesus’ life to explore! And it’s an amazing life to get caught up in – “good news” for our lives, and let’s be honest we could all do with some of that at the moment!
So, this Christmas, as it comes to an end what is it going to be? Freeze frame. Wait till next Christmas and rewind to watch it all over again. Or just the beginning, preparation to begin exploring the life of Jesus – “good news” not just for Christmas but for the whole of the year and life! This Christmas, respond! Come and find out “what happens next” by joining “Christianity Explored” starting February and discover more of Mark’s telling of the story of Jesus beyond the baby in the manger.