Tomorrow we celebrate the third Sunday of Advent. The third Sunday — how has time moved so quickly? The weeks have moved at an unusually fast pace.
Advent 3 focuses on preparation. Oh boy – I sense a moment of uncomfortable redirection. What’s new about preparation? After all, Christmas is only two weeks away — there is so much to do! Family is coming, trees are being decorated as gifts are purchased and wrapped to reflect in glitter the lights around them. It is all about preparation now!
Yet John the Baptist in his rough and blunt manner meets us tomorrow — this was and is his cry to all who can hear: “Prepare the way.” This preparation is of a different sort. We are to roll up our sleeves and secure all that might blow away at the arrival of God-among-us. This preparation has to do making ready a place for people to meet this God and know the wonder of God’s kingdom here and now.
We should not be surprised — this redirection comes at just the right time. Lest we forget our own steps on this sacred journey, John welcomes us tomorrow with a clear reminder. Take a minute to read this short yet helpful article about Advent 3. It comes from a great resource — THE PRAYER BOOK GUIDE TO CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
Prepare the Way (click here)
- Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
- Psalm 126
- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
- John 1:6-8, 19-28
John the Baptist’s ministry was vital for developing the climax of God’s revelation. The thread of Hebrew religious history had to be brought together to prepare a public that God’s Anointed could reach.
John was not the light of God’s world. His task was to enable others to see the light. To be such a witness, John had to possess forcefulness, and at the same time to have a humility that rendered him unaware of how forceful he was.