Advent this coming Sunday.
Advent is the period of penance & preparation before Christmas.
Preparing for Christ to come into the world in three ways:
- Christ’s coming again at the end of time
- Coming into our hearts
Three journeys of Christ we are preparing for.
Theme for this episode
Prepare a way for the Lord
– Humility and mission – John the Baptist
– Matthew 3:3, 3:11
John has a mission of preaching repentance, to do this he must have an awareness of his own inadequacy and need of repentance. This awareness allows him to declare – There is another coming after me. We too, are called to prepare a way for the Lord, in our own hearts through repentance, and in the world, by preaching in word and action.
We too are called to prepare a way for the Messiah.
There’s many in the Bible who are known by their hometown, or their lineage, Mary of Bethany, Joseph of Arimathea etc. Even Jesus is known as Jesus of Nazareth, and then later Jesus Christ – the anointed one.
It’s pretty cool that John the son of Zechariah encounters God in the wilderness, and then he’s pretty much known as John the Baptist from there on. He’s known by his mission rather than by whose biological son he is, or which town he comes from.
Which makes us think of when Jesus talks about the reward for anyone who has left houses, father, mother etc for his sake (Matthew 19:29), and John leaves behind everything for his mission, even the name that he’s known by is by his mission.
I think it’s also fitting that Luke points out that ‘he grew strong in spirit and remained in the wilderness’ until he began his work (Luke 1:80) which describes his natural growth and preparation in order to take on this mission of preparing a way for the Lord.
God didn’t call someone who wasn’t already given the nature that matches his mission, and then forcing John to become someone he’s not.
He does the same for us….The mission we are called to is made for us…it is not in opposition.
It says something to me about the preparation that God does in us, all the time.
He’s not preparing us for one milestone in our lives and then that’s it, but instead prepares us all the time for the many things he’ll ask of us, depending on how open we are to doing his will, but none more valuable than to prepare us to receive him both here on earth, but also in the beatific vision in the next life.
But also, in this advent season, it also says something about taking time aside.
John remained in the wilderness, Jesus often retreated, there’s something in that.
Making space to stepping away from the busy.
This season is so busy, there’s so much going on all the time, the preparation for bringing together people, having wrapped gifts, organising parties, etc. they get earlier and earlier each year. But if we’re going to engage in that, we also need to prepare our hearts to enter into the season.
There was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7) – Let’s make sure in his second coming we do have room for him in our hearts by preparing room for him in our lives now.
Dedicated space where you make preparation….Where you pray. Have a way of tracking Advent. Have time to sit with Christ.
Share your way of preparing on our Facebook Group. We’d LOVE to hear from you!
Padre: Preparation for Christmas
Stina: Anima Women’s Retreat – Albury. Topic on Friendship – Pre-Advent retreat