John the Baptist
John the Baptist prepares the way for Jesus Christ as the Son of God, calling for a return to God and repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins. He calls for a rejection of worldliness and uses baptism as an act of purification. John the Baptist’s message of atonement and preparation helps us reflect on our own effort to live a Christ-centered life. St. John the Baptist’s Day is traditionally celebrated June 24, but his role as the messenger for Jesus’ ministry is particularly apt during Advent.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah, ‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way; the voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight,”’ John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” ~ Mark 1:1-4
Almighty God, by whose providence thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son our Saviour, by preaching of repentance: Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.