Preparing for Arrival

Second Sunday In Advent | December 9, 2018

Malachi 3:1-4  •  Luke 1:68-79  •  Philippians 1:3-11  •  Luke 3:1-6

It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,

“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
    Clear the road for him!
The valleys will be filled,
    and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
    and the rough places made smooth.
And then all people will see
    the salvation sent from God.’”

Luke 3:1-6 New Living Translation (NLT)


The gospel writer Luke, gives us the greatest detail when it comes to Jesus’ birth.  He tells us of the prophecy of John the Baptist and his subsequent birth.  We also get the narrative between Elizabeth and Mary and the traditional Christmas reading of Mary and Joseph going to Bethlehem and the shepherds and the angels.  Then there is the telling of Jesus’ presentation and Simeon and Anna.  We get a brief glimpse of Jesus again at 12 years old when his parents lose him during a passover.  Luke skips ahead to a grown up John the Baptist.  

We learn that John is traveling on both sides of the Jordan River and preaching baptism and repentance.  John the Baptist tells the people that they must repent in order to have their sins forgiven.  Luke repeats the words of the prophet Isaiah.


“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
    Clear the road for him!
The valleys will be filled,
    and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
    and the rough places made smooth.
And then all people will see
    the salvation sent from God.’”

Isaiah 40:3-5

John the Baptist is a forerunner of Jesus. He reminds us that someone is coming (which is the theme of Advent) to save the people from their sins.  John’s teachings that follow foretell what Jesus will preach.  John was a fiery preacher – the hellfire and brimstone type. He minced no words.  John was fulfilling the prophecy in Isaiah by preparing the way of the Lord.  He was telling people to prepare their hearts for the coming Messiah.  John knew that Jesus was on his way – after all – I’m sure Elizabeth and Mary talked beyond the narrative in chapter 1 and I’m sure they told their children. 

John told the people then and it’s a reminder to us – that we should prepare the way for the coming Lord.  After all the Advent hymn “Joy to the World” tells us “Let every heart prepare him room.”  Is there room in your heart for Jesus?  Are you preparing the way? Are you preparing your heart for the arrival of Jesus?  

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s