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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Today’s Reading | Luke 3:1–6  

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.'" (NRSV)

While reading and meditating on the scripture passage from Luke 3:1-6, I immediately visualized John the Baptist in the wilderness of Judea, wearing clothing made of camel hair, eating locusts and wild honey, preaching the repentance of sins.

His appearance echoes Old Testament imagery and points everyone to the coming of Christ. Aside from this being a historic event in the Bible, John call us to take a serious look at ourselves, an introspection or examination of conscience, if you will, to discover what areas of our lives we need to modify or perhaps eliminate to prepare for Christ. How can we strive to be better Christians? We also need to repent, keeping our focus on God and surrendering our hearts and minds to our Savior. We should humble ourselves, just as John the Baptist did, and make the Advent season a sacred season.

So let us take extra time for the reading of scripture, prayer, contemplation, and silence, for the coming of the Lord is near. Love is coming; hope is coming; joy is coming; peace is coming. Salvation is coming, and all the world will rejoice.

Can we point the way to Christ by inviting someone to church, caring for them, or giving a personal witness or testimony to the healing power of God in our lives? Would you care to join me?

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
His future coming was proclaimed by all the prophets.
The virgin mother bore him in her womb
with love beyond all telling.
John the Baptist was the herald
and made him known when at last he came.
In his love Christ has filled us with joy
as we prepare to celebrate his birth
so that when he comes he may find us watching in prayer,
our hearts filled with wonder and praise. Amen.

(Prayer from the Roman Rite)

Reflection written by Louise Gram, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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