Advent 2021: A Season Of Healing And Hope – December 8
December 7, 2021
Preparing the Way
(Marie Johnson, long time member of Lakeshore, currently is serving as church moderator )
18 The disciples of John reported all these things to him. So John summoned two of his disciples 19 and sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” 20 When the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?’” 21 Jesus had just then cured many people of diseases, plagues, and evil spirits, and had given sight to many who were blind. 22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. 23 And blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me.”
24 When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to look at? A reed shaken by the wind? 25 What then did you go out to see? Someone dressed in soft robes? Look, those who put on fine clothing and live in luxury are in royal palaces. 26 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written,
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’
28 I tell you, among those born of women no one is greater than John; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” 29 (And all the people who heard this, including the tax collectors, acknowledged the justice of God, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. 30 But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.)Luke 7:18-30 (NRSV)
I read and re-read this passage a number of times. There are so many things in it that one could talk about, so what to focus on?
I always think of advent as the time of waiting and preparing for Jesus’ birth and what keeps resonating with me in this passage is how John the Baptist came before Jesus to “prepare your way before you” and how the season of advent prepares our way for the birth of Jesus. In lighting the candles each week we focus on the themes of faith, hope, peace, joy, and love. As we approach Christmas, the music, and the carols prepare our way as we await Christmas, the time of Jesus’ birth.