John the Baptist Prepares the Way
|Love is the second candle we light in the Advent Wreath|
3 In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar—when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, Herod tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and Traconitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene
— 2 during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.4 As it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.
5 Every valley shall be filled in,
every mountain and hill made low.
The crooked roads shall become straight,
the rough ways smooth.
6 And all people will see God’s salvation.’”[a]
Preparing the way…John the Baptists' role in the story of God coming down as one of us. We can look at this two ways in our present day.
First, how can we "make straight paths" for others to find Jesus and discover "God's salvation"? It seems easy to point people to Jesus, who's message was to embody love and mercy. It is through compassion, selflessness, and the giving of oneself that Jesus shows the true ways of God and, therefore, God's vision for humanity to act and live. How can we continue to embody this message and vision through our own lives? Maybe it can begin with simple acts of kindness or a change of heart and attitude toward others we find annoying :)
The second way to look at this "preparing" is in the way we prepare ourselves for the Advent season. We always talk about how busy we are and slowing down and focusing on what really matters in life…which is good to do. But let's start simpler. How about, as we are busy with a lot of good things (buying gifts and thinking about others over ourselves, going to parties and seeing people we haven't seen in a while, or whatever) we try and find the spirit of God's blessing of love, family, friends, etc as we do all these really good things. I guess what I'm trying to say is just simply being joyful in all that we do, focusing on how to make others happy, and love the season of Christmas through all we are doing.
God bless you this Advent Season!!!