December 4: Prepare the Way

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December 4: Prepare the Way

Saint John the Baptist appears on the scene today as Advent enters its second week. The mysterious consumer of locusts and wild honey, John echoes the words of the prophet Isaiah as he calls for repentance in the face of the nearness of the kingdom of heaven. The rhythms of the Christian life are often confounding. Each year we meet the Baptist and hear his calls for repentance. Each year we see him pointing to the one who is coming after him, the Lord Jesus. Yet each year the words and actions of John the Baptist echo anew in our hearts, because we have fallen into old sinful traps again and again. Advent gives us the opportunity once again to turn away from our sinful ways and embrace the gospel way of life. John the Baptist invites us to prepare the way for the Lord, in whom we place our hope.

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November 27: Be Prepared

Be prepared. It’s that simple. As this Advent season opens before us, the Lord Jesus summons us to stand ready for his coming. At this time of year much of our attention is focused on being prepared for the details that accompany the holiday season. We purchase gifts; we decorate our homes, inside and out; we prepare foods that we eat only during the holidays; we write and send Christmas cards; we attend holiday concerts; we prepare either to welcome family and friends into our homes or arrange for visits to their homes. We really can’t escape the details that make up the season. Perhaps this Advent is a time to attend to all those details with a different spin. As we prepare to celebrate the feast of Christmas, why not be deliberate about acknowledging the presence of the Lord as we go about these tasks? The Lord often comes to us in wonderfully surprising ways. Let us be prepared.

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