Posted by: pastordarren | December 8, 2014

Prepare

Prepare – Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:

“I will send my messenger ahead of you,     who will prepare your way”— “a voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord,     make straight paths for him.’”

And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

As we begin the second week in Advent, I hope we have been focusing on watching the signs around us for the coming of Jesus. As we have watched, we now move into preparing for the coming of Jesus, with the story of John the Baptist.

Sometimes in life we don’t have the opportunity to prepare for an event. The surprise of something comes upon us and overwhelms us and we then have to play catch up.

John the Baptist, takes the role that Isaiah writes about, in preaching and preparing the people for the coming of Jesus’ in His ministry. John begins by calling the people to repentance and baptism in the Jordan River. As they did so, he also reminded them that there was another coming who would baptize with the Holy Spirit.

I’m guessing that many of us have begun to prepare for the Christmas season with decorations, gifts, music and other festive things. Have we though, as we have watched the signs, began to prepare our hearts and lives for the coming of Jesus?

Another way to ask is that are we helping to prepare our families, friends, neighbors, community for the coming of Jesus in ways that will “. . . make straight paths for Him” in the hearts and lives of those around us?

As we prepare ourselves, let us too, help prepare the path for those who don’t know and may not have been watching for the coming of Jesus.

Prayer: Father God, help us to prepare our hearts and lives for the coming of Jesus and use us to help prepare others to receive the coming of Jesus too. May our hearts and lives be open to receive Him as He comes to us today. Amen

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