Second Sunday of Advent, December 4, 2022
Rev. Sela Finau
Scripture: Matthew 3:1-3 (NRSV) In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, ‘The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
Devotion: Advent and Christmas are about changing things around, inside and outside. It’s cleaning up and sweeping around in preparation for what is to come or who is to come. Something captivating is worth making room for, which is true of the Christmas tree, decorations, the call of Advent, and the Christmas message.
Yet, some folks want Christmas to come and go with the least possible fuss, with the least likely effect or change. Spiritually we may be glad of the opportunity to celebrate this beautiful season. But at the same time, we privately want the beauty of the Christmas season without internal change. Maybe God wants to see a difference this year and for us to move some things around inside to make room for the arrival of God’s Messiah.
The prophet Isaiah declared: Prepare the way of the Lord.
Get ready. He’s on his way. When he comes, he is going to change things around. Therefore, we must prepare for his arrival by cleaning up, sweeping, and rearranging our lives. Isaiah said, every valley will be filled, and the mountains will be made low. The crooked things will get moved around until they’re straight.
John’s message is repentance and preparation, and he was convinced that the Savior we heard about in Isaiah had arrived. John was confident that the time of our salvation was at hand, and he told the people that we must change to make room for the Savior. Things can’t stay the same.
Prayer: Dear God, Help us to clean up so we can make room for you. Amen.