Saturday, November 25, 2017

A Man Called John

John 3:3
The prophet Isaiah was speaking about John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
    Clear the road for him!’”

Luke 7:27
John is the man to whom the Scriptures refer when they say,
‘Look, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
    and he will prepare your way before you.

True confession #1: I started preparing for Christmas in September. Anyone who creates arts and crafts understands. I had a few ideas for gifts and knew I needed to get started. True confession #2: I started listening to Christmas music in November. I love the joyful songs of Christmas, and they fuel my crafting fire. True confession #3: I've been binge watching  Hallmark Christmas movies since the last day of October. Again, fuel to keep my hands creating and my heart engaged.

Preparation is an important part of the Christmas story. Before Jesus walked the roads and preached his message of salvation, God sent John the Baptist to get people ready to accept the Messiah's appearance. John spent years preaching in Judea, even Jerusalem. He spoke about repentance and baptism. John, born a few months before Jesus, came to tell a new story. He was rocking the world with his talk about one who would be the ultimate sacrifice for sin. His preaching contradicted the religious leaders and their teachings. But, his words were given to him by God. John the Baptist's faith is pretty amazing. He took God at his word. He trusted God's plan for his life. As you plan for the holiday, give some thought to John and his story. His life wasn't easy as he forged the way for the Messiah, yet he remained faithful.

 “Someone is coming soon who is greater than I [John] am—so much greater that I’m not even worthy to stoop down like a slave and untie the straps of his sandals. I baptize you with water, but he [Jesus] will baptize you with the Holy Spirit!” Mark 1:7

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