Second Sunday in Advent

 Mark 1:1-8

 Other Readings: Isaiah 40:1-11 and 2 Peter 3:8-14


  1. John the Baptist preached a message urging people to repent. How should we define repentance?
  2. What was the focus of John’s baptisms? How is that similar or different from the baptism we receive?
  3. When did Jesus Christ baptize people with the Holy Spirit?
  4. God’s Word makes it clear that even believers have crooked hearts until they enter heaven. What are some sins that you need to confess as you prepare for Christ’s birth at Christmas and his return on the last day? What assurance does Isaiah 40:1,2 give you?
  5. Use this Gospel reading to write a prayer in which you ask God to help you prepare for his coming.



  1. The Augsburg Confession (a key statement of Lutheran from 1530) puts it this way: “Repentance consists properly of these two parts: One is contrition, that is, terrors smiting the conscience through the knowledge of sin; the other is faith, which is born of the Gospel, and believes that for Christ’s sake, sins are forgiven” (Article XII). A shorter saying is this: “Repentance is turning in godly sorrow from sin and turning in confidence to Jesus’ forgiveness.”
  2. The focus of John’s baptism was the forgiveness of sins. This is also the focus of our baptism. So, John’s baptism and the baptism which Jesus instituted were, in essence, the same thing.
  3. Pentecost Day. Jesus sent out his Holy Spirit on Pentecost and has been pouring out that same Spirit on his Church ever since.
  4. Answers for the first part will vary. The assurance of Isaiah 40:1,2 is that God comforts you and speaks tenderly to you through the forgiveness which Jesus won.
  5. Answers will vary. God grant you what you pray for according to his will!