My Christmas Journey, December 23, 2012

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

The Scriptures for today fourth and last Sunday of Advent are Luke chapter 3 verses 1 thru 6. These verses tell of the beginning of John the Baptist’s ministry or work. John, the cousin of Jesus, and also a miraculous baby, had lived in the desert for years, He wore animal skins and ate a diet of locusts and honey. We don’t know too much more about him except that he preached that the messiah was coming and the people had better be ready for him. He preached a sermon of repentance and the need to turn away from sin. He was one “Crying in the wilderness, “Make way for the lord.”

Have you ever yelled in the wilderness? And by that I mean stand up say what you know is right but no will agree with you. Have you ever felt so alone in a dark place that you think it would be better to just be quiet and go back to safety? I am sure John felt this many times.

John was the herald of the Lord. He knew that Jesus would soon start his ministry and it was his job to prepare a way for him. He called and called and people began to come to him. They came to see him but then they were so convinced by him that they needed to repent that they stayed and were baptized by him for repentance. John brought people to a place of humility before God so that they would be ready for Jesus.

Many many people came to be baptized by John and some even stayed. We know that two apostles of Jesus began by staying with John. These would be Andrew the brother of Peter and John who would write the Gospel and call himself the “one Jesus loved”. These two John would send to Jesus. I think that must have been very difficult to send two people who stayed with him in the desert, two people whom he must have loved, to follow someone else. I think he must have felt not unlike a parent who knows it’s time to let the child leave the home.

Today, spend some time thinking about John The Baptist. Think about how hard his life was and how he chose stand in the wilderness and preach repentance. Think about the times you were last called to stand alone and your own reaction to that. Ready yourself today for the celebration of Jesus birthday that begins tomorrow night. If you haven’t thought about Jesus or considered who he is, ready yourself, think about who he is and who he claimed to be, make a decision. Jesus stands at the door and knocks at every heart and in every person. Let him in.

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