November 28, 2021 at 15:59 #2472
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of 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:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”November 28, 2021 at 16:00 #2473
As we celebrate Advent, a time of waiting expectantly for Jesus, it might dawn on us that he is already here. In his name many of his followers, perhaps most in one way or the other, are refusing to see him in folks who make them uncomfortable, whose opinions differ, whose lifestyles are unacceptable. Can anyone really claim their viewpoint on any topic is the only one that can prepare the way of the Lord as the Lord wants it prepared? Can anyone claim that only they speak the correct words and everybody else has to accept them totally or else? Can anyone who claims to speak and act in the name of Jesus inflict threats and punishments never even remotely found in the Jesus of the Gospels? Can anyone judge that just because someone wears funny clothes and accessories they are automatically wrong and do not deserve to be listened to? Any of us If we claim to be responding to the Spirit have to look at our own life, and hear John’s words speaking to us right here and now on a very personal and intimate level. What is each of us being called to do to prepare the way of the Lord in our own life? What valleys do we have to fill and what mountains do we have to smooth in our own life, not in somebody else’s? What opportunities are we passing up? For each of us this has to be a prayerful journey, not an easy self-righteous stroll.November 28, 2021 at 16:01 #2474
While we’re preparing the way of the Lord, we might come to realize that we don’t know other folks’ stories or their journeys, so maybe it is not a good thing for us to demand they follow our plans for them or else. We might try to imitate Jesus in his compassion and understanding for folks he met. In his Story, the ones who were laying demands and punishments on folks were the ones who ultimately killed him because he didn’t follow their demands. He just tried to live his Father’s love with whomever he met.November 28, 2021 at 19:24 #2475
A good part of following Jesus is just letting go and not telling Jesus where we want him to lead us.
Another part is simply trusting that he and the Spirit know what they are doing, and letting ourselves be pleasantly surprised by wherever and with whomever we we find ourselves at any given time.
It has been quite a week.
Grace is real.November 30, 2021 at 11:23 #2482
Wondering what the voice crying out in my desert is calling me to do to prepare the way of the Lord in my life. What am I to do and how am I to do it? How is the Spirit calling me to metanoia, to convert, to change where I look for my happiness and satisfaction? Does this have anything to do with my believing that kids, many of whose confessions I’ve been “hearing” lately, are not capable of theological sin, yet I keep on hearing their confessions even though I think doing so is leading them to get the wrong idea of our forgiving God? Am I being true to myself here? Lots of stuff going on.
Been thinking back to GEN Powell’s idea to “give people a little more kindness than I would want to because I don’t know their journey or the load they’re carrying”.
December 3, 2021 at 20:20 #2507Sherri BuckParticipant
- This reply was modified 7 months ago by Phrogge.
Sometimes I find I get caught up in the “logistics” of the gospel. Places I can’t pronounce, or haven’t really heard. They seem to be “unreal” trying to get through the “family tree” I get lost in the actual message.
Now there is usually one statement in the gospel that resonates. While the first part of the quote, “Prepare the way of the lord” is very powerful, and touches me trying to mentally get prepared, but for some reason, I’m looking and drawn to the ending. In amazement as to what the Lord will do. In awe that everything will be “equal”. Maybe that’s what the Lord is telling us. Everything and everyone should be “even” no crossroads no obstacles, but just “being”. Yea, I’m will to prepare for that!
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