Prayer: Come Holy Spirit. Help me to prepare for Christmas.
Imagination: (Picture yourself at the Jordan with John.)
Luke has told the stories of Jesus infancy, ending with Jesus being lost in the temple. The next 18 years are Jesus’ hidden life. Now the drama opens and John the Baptist is the first actor on the scene. He is the perfect Advent preacher, preparing us for Jesus’ coming.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, the word of God came to John, son of Zechariah. He went to all the country around the Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as is written in the Prophet Isaiah, “Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you to prepare the way before you. A voice of one crying in the desert, ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.’”
All from Judea and Jerusalem went out to him and were baptized in the Jordan River, confessing their sins. John was clothed with camel’s hair and a leather belt. He ate locusts and wild honey.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Caesar and Pilate have political power, but John has the power of God.
- The “word came to John”. The Kingdom was coming and a religious revival was about to happen.
- The people sensed this movement of God’s Spirit, and made their journey to the Jordan.
- They repented of their sins and sought John’s Baptism.
- Prepared by their Jewish culture, they understood that John was the messenger, preparing the way for the Messiah.
- John’s clothing and food were signs of repentance, so the people quickly believed his preaching.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Let your word come to me, O Lord.
- You have a timetable, a moment prepared for my conversion.
- Where do you dwell, O Lord? Where can I find you?
- Where do you stir? Where is your Spirit moving?
- I will seek you in daily Eucharist. Your Spirit dwells there.
- You have promised to come. I will wait for you.
- Jesus, I will seek forgiveness for my sins, and be ready for your coming.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will find personal solitude where I can hear God’s word.
- I will repent of my sins and make a good confession. That is the right place to begin, Advent.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Make straight his paths.