Seeing The Good News

December 7, 2022
peter englert
Peter Englert

Not too far from Rochester, Seneca Falls will celebrate the 76th Anniversary of It’s a Wonderful Life this weekend. Frank Capra, the director of the movie, based Bedford Falls in this Christmas classic off this town. 

In this film George Bailey (played by Jimmy Stewart) questions the meaning of his life. In a peculiar series of events, George meets an angel named Clarence. And while this angel looks more like an absent-minded elderly grandfather than a messenger from God, Clarence ultimately helps George see the past, present, and future in a way other messengers hadn’t.

Clarence illustrates a peculiar way that God speaks.

As you read today’s Scripture passage, you’ll note Mark 1:1 starts by saying, “The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God…” Unlike Matthew and Luke, the Gospel of Mark jumps right into Jesus’s adult life. But no matter where the stories of Jesus start they all point to the fact that people missed the Good News in front of them.

The Gospel writer then quotes Isaiah 40:3 verbatim and connects the dots about who is the voice calling from the wilderness. It’s John the Baptist! A man who lives in the wilderness, eats locust and honey, and wears camel skins. That’s not necessarily the way we would have drawn up to prepare the way for the Savior of the world.  

Just as Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life challenged George to have a vaster view of his life, John the Baptist — the Voice in the Wilderness — invites us to see the Good News in ways we have not seen it before.

Advent prepares our hearts to see a Gospel that the world does not understand. The Good News is Jesus’s birth, death, and resurrection is present with us today. Like His coming 2,000 years ago, He will come again to make the world right.

PRAYER

Jesus, help me to hear you this Advent season. Prepare my heart to experience the Gospel in new ways.   

PRACTICE

Take a sheet a paper write down the ways that you have noticed God’s presence in this Advent season. Then write down how Jesus might be preparing you to experience the Gospel for the rest of the season. 

Photo by Bud Helisson on Unsplash

About The Author

peter englert
Peter Englert

Peter Englert is Adult Ministries Director at Browncroft Community Church. He graduated from the University of Valley Forge with a B.A. in Pastoral Ministry and a M.A. in Theology. He also blogs at peterenglert.com.

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