"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Monday, November 28, 2011

Advent Day 2 - November 28

“Then an angel of the Lord appeared to Zechariah and he was startled and gripped with fear. But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife, Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John.” (Luke 1:11-13

This new baby, John, would grow up to be known as John the Baptizer, or John the Baptist. He was the cousin of Jesus (who would be born later) and John’s primary role was to prepare the way for Jesus. As boys, John and Jesus more than likely played together, swam together, camped out together, did chores together, got into trouble together, visited each other’s homes, and all those things that cousins do….especially boy cousins. Do you reckon John knew that Jesus was the Messiah as they were growing up? Would he have treated him differently? Or did John not know until Jesus met him at the Jordan River to be baptized? That’s one of those questions I wonder about sometimes, but figure I can ask John about it when I finally meet him in heaven.

But, as an adult, as the Preparer, John had the responsibility to point the way to one who is yet to be known. To tell people and urge them to get their hearts right because their Messiah was coming. John was diligent and (according to the scriptures) he sacrificed much in the way of shelter, clothing and food. He was dedicated and committed to his calling. Locusts and wild honey? I don’t think so. Unless there was chocolate to cover it with.

If you look at it through my odd little way of seeing things, John was the first observer of Advent. He sorta wrote the first set of lesson plans and we are still following his example. We, as Christians in 2011, are here to prepare the way for Christ’s coming for the second time. The final time. As in John’s time, people are stubborn to hear the truth and not willing to set aside their comfortable lifestyles to follow the Jesus way. The Christmas season is one where at least the unbelieving world may think a teench more about the meaning of Christmas and at least use the name of Christ when they say Christmas.

By my thinking, this season of Advent is a prime time for us to prepare the world around us for Christ. Our church has passed out buttons for us to wear that tell whoever we meet that “It’s okay to say Merry Christmas.” Encourage folks that may tick us off by just telling them “Merry Christmas”……and smile. Show the love. Do some random acts of kindness. Volunteer some time to those in need. Put a dollar or two in the Salvation Army bucket. I was a bell ringer for the Army the last few years and hope to do it again during December. Why don’t you volunteer to be a ringer? Give some canned goods or toys to one of the local food banks or children’s homes. Dollar stores have a great supply and your dollars can go a long way. Pick up the newspaper from a senior adult’s driveway and take it to the door. Just do something.

Let me encourage you to think long, hard and creatively about how you can be a Preparer during these next few weeks. And do it all in the name of Jesus. Our Savior. Emmanuel.

Joy to the World!


At 6:16 AM, Blogger scatterbrained said...

Can I add some ideas to yours? If you said no, I did not hear you (a little early morning humor).

I live in a small semi-rural town. We have coats for kids. Shop garage sales all year long for good condition coats to be given children and teens in need.

Elves for the Elderly collect knits caps, gloves and blankets for the elderly in our community.

Contribute small sewing kits to the local food pantry to distribute to families.

One of the local churches sponsors a toys for tots program.

Cook a meal for a neighbor. My neighbor is in her late 70's and works fulltime at Walmart. She is so tired when she gets off so I cook meals for her during this season when her schedule is very sporadic.

I work a full time job and a part time job plus help with my 2 yr old grandson when he is with us (my son works nights). Sometimes I feel like I have no time to volunteer, however, I can pick up a phone, call and encourage someone. Holidays can be hard on people, especially older, home bound whose family is not close or who have no family.

oh for goodness sake, I got carried away. Sorry. You are so right about being creative in ways to share the love of Jesus!! I need to get ready for work.

Thank you for sharing your blog. I am enjoying reading it.


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