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Pastor's Column 12/10/2023


“A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low, the rugged places plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” Isaiah 40:3-5, NIV

Second Sunday in Advent: “Preparation”

In ancient times, the arrival of a king or dignitary became apparent when laborers worked assiduously to clear all debris; and to level a roadway for the reception of the coming dignitary. This was especially true for kings who visited provinces they ruled. The prophet Isaiah uses this poetic language to prophesy the appearance of John the Baptist; who will announce or herald the coming of the Messiah; Jesus the Christ. John is a relative of Jesus; the son of Elizabeth and Zachariah. It was to their home that Mary traveled; when she learned, she was chosen to carry and give birth to Jesus, the Messiah. John was slightly older than Jesus, and was chosen by God to proclaim the ministry of salvation, Jesus would bring to the people. We have no records as to when John accepted this call; only that it was prophesied that he would prophetically proclaim Christ’s coming. At some point, John left home, and began his ministry in the wilderness of Judea. He lived an austere life, subsisting on locusts and receiving his carbohydrates from the wild honeybees of the wilderness. With a gaunt; yet imposing stature, his eyes alighted with fire. He preached the kingdom had come; for the Messiah was nearer than the people imagined. The people were told to confess their sins; be baptized; and to “prepare” for Messiah’s coming. As charismatic and influential as John was, he deflected attention from himself. People were to give their full attention to the One whom he pronounced, as the coming Lord and Savior. We too, must always prepare to receive and acknowledge the presence of Christ in us. Rough edges of character must be smoothed. Mountains of worry must be brought down. Valleys of our fears must be raised to sure confidence in Christ Jesus; with whom we live, affirm our being, and exist! Again, and always, let us receive our King!

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