Lenten Devotional: March 23 | Mark 6:13-29

Wednesday, March 23 | Mark 6:13-29

Christine Guy 

Remember that John was the one sent ahead of Jesus to prepare his way. He was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah, “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him.’” He was designated as the forerunner to pave the way for Jesus’ ministry. He has been referred to as the second Elijah, dressing and acting much like him. He wore clothes made of camel hair and ate honey and wild locust.

The passage for today takes us to the happenings that lead to John’s violent death. In boldness, he had spoken an unwanted truth to Herod, leading not to honor but rather the consequence of imprisonment and death. This account is bookended by Jesus sending out the twelve disciples and Jesus feeding the five thousand. Jesus is bringing forth his Kingdom!  John had said “he must become greater; I must become less” [John 3:30]  I imagine him pondering how his ending will foreshadow Jesus’.  John has indeed prepared us for what is to come.

I invite you to spend time with John in his prison cell.  Ask for the gift of holy presence. After each reflection question, pause and listen for what arises:

What might John be experiencing in the prison cell?… Silence?… Grief?… Assurance? …Peace?… Doubt?

How does his life and death continue to point you to the Kingdom of God?

How are you inspired to imitate John’s fidelity to God’s purposes?

May the God of wisdom open you to engage life and death, in all its forms, as John the Baptizer and then Jesus the Christ have modeled for you.

Christine Guy has been attending Trinity Cathedral since the end of 2021. She is a semi-retired Physician Assistant and a trained Spiritual Director. Christine lives in Pittsburgh’s North Side with her dear friend and husband, Mark. She has three grown children.