Keeping Advent: December 16

River and John the Baptist's Shell

River and John the Baptist’s Shell

Theme:John the Baptist

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

Read the rest:

Here we are, so close to the arrival of Jesus! For the past few days, we have read about the family of Jesus: Mary, Joseph, and now John the Baptist. John was the miracle child of Elizabeth and Zechariah, and was only six months older than his cousin. The way extended families were in ancient times, it’s likely that John and Jesus were playmates as children, or at the very least were able to see each other during Passover journeys to Jerusalem. Who knows how long they had been out of touch when John came out of the desert where he’d been living as a Nazarite? Did John even recognize Jesus any more?

But John calls out to us the way he called out to the people in Judah: repent and follow the Lord! Make way for the Lord! Prepare the way! Each of us must prepare the way for the Lord to enter into our lives, into our very hearts. That is the whole purpose of Advent, and the whole reason for the Jesse Tree. Here we arrive at the closing of the story leading to the Christ. We have only another week or so until He comes to us as a helpless child. During the rest of Advent, we will focus on the O Antiphons and Who Jesus really is.

But we must always be preparing our hearts for Him to come to us. Each day, we begin anew. Each day, we should work to give our fiat and say yes to God’s plan for us. Each day, we should be ready to act on His will. Each day, we should try to become more Christ-like and to love as Jesus loves us.

Prepare ye, the way of the Lord! Make room for Him in the manger of your heart!


Meditation text and images © Christine Johnson

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