“It’s a harsh voice shouting in the wilderness…and it doesn’t fit so well with the gentleness promised by the Lord,” begins Matthew Foster Connors, Pastor of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in Baltimore, Maryland. In today’s passages from Mark 1:1-8 and Isaiah 40:1-11, we get both the harsh voice and the comfort of God. Connors says, “I suspect that most of us would rather choose one without the other. Choose the gentle child in the manger. Choose the gentle shepherd gathering the lambs. Choose the Lord who speaks tenderly to Jerusalem. But we don’t get one without the other.” Listen as Connors explains why it is both…and, not one or the other.