Sunday, December 7, 2008


[Light the first candle on the Advent wreath.]

The prophet Isaiah wrote, "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.'" (Mark 1:2-3, NRSV)

And John, the messenger of God, proclaimed to all the people who came to him in the wilderness that they must repent of their sins and be baptized. Many people heard his message, repented, and were baptized in the river Jordan.

For many of us, it has become our custom to prepare for the birth of the Messiah by decorating our cities and homes, hanging lights inside and out, and measuring the quality of our Christmas morning by the number of gifts we receive on Christmas morning. Preparing for Christmas means letting go of what is hindering us from listening and growing in our relationship with Jesus.

[Light the second candle on the Advent wreath.]

As we light this second candle in preparation for the coming of the Messiah, perhaps we need to listen again to John the Baptizer's message, preparing the way of the Lord:
. . . make straight the paths
. . . repent of your sins
. . . be baptized
. . . and live holy lives devoted to God.

Dear God, help us to let go, forgive, and be forgiven as we prepare for Christmas.
Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.

1 comment:

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