Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. (Jeremiah 33:14-15, KJV)
In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” (Matthew 3:1-3, NIV)
It seems to me that the Christmas season began even earlier this year - around Halloween!
We like to blame greedy retailers and the modern day plague of consumerism. I’m not so sure about that. Maybe we welcome the distraction from a true Advent.
The ancient prophets consistently called across the generations for repentance, justice and righteousness as they proclaimed the Messiah. We are called during Advent to prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus, to make straight our path.
Am I willing to catalog my regrettable thoughts and actions, or lack of action for the cause of Christ?
What about justice? Where our society, government and business miss the mark, will I do anything about it?
Will I make time to consider what it means to live righteously, to model Kingdom values, to trust the Lord in all things, in the coming year?
…or will I charge off to the mall or another Holiday party. Will I confine my preparation to mixing drinks and wrapping gifts?
Holy Spirit, prepare my heart during advent for the coming of Christ, my savior, my Messiah. Amen.