In the fifteenth year of the reign of Emperor Tiberius, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, during the high-priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight.
Every valley shall be filled,
and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth;
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” ’
I’m a very experienced and enthusiastic Christmas decorator. This time of year my husband, Don, is afraid to stand still for fear he’ll get a wreath hung around his neck! So, because I had told Teri I would write something “ Adventy,” I stopped my driven decorative pace, sat down and read this Luke passage and then re-read it several more times. The season of Advent is supposed to prepare us for the coming of Christ and I’d always wondered about reading Bible verses during this time that didn’t just stick to the subject of the birth of Jesus. But, now, I think I understand why this particular Bible passage about John the Baptist is so important to read during Advent. It’s a short history lesson about the Son of God. It reminds us that he came to us to save us. He is our link to God. Without his birth, his life and his death, where would we be? For me, it’s impossible to conceive of a world without Jesus. So, once in a while, I need to pause during this busy time, breathe deeply and thank God for the wonder of Baby Jesus and Jesus, the man, who sacrificed himself to bring such reassuring spiritual peace to us all.
Loving God, thank you for coming among us to make the world new. Walk with me each day this season, and remind me of your presence that brings peace. Amen.
–may the Spirit move in the words of Barb McCreary