Prepare the Way!
Sunday, November 27, 2016 marks the first of four preceding Sundays leading up to Christmas. This period is called advent, derived from the Latin term “ad-venire” meaning “to come to” or “coming”, which is the coming or second coming of Christ. The advent season is a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the nativity of Jesus Christ during Christmas. The advent season is recognized by many Western Christian churches and marks the beginning of the church’s liturgical year.
The meaning of the advent season is a period in which we are reminded of the true meaning of Christmas. John the Baptist highlights this preparation as recounted in the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John). The Bible says that John the Baptist was preaching in the Desert of Judea saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 3:1-2; Mark 1:1-8; Luke 3:1-18; John 1:19-28). The prophet Isaiah predicted a person would speak these words (Isaiah 40:3): “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him'” (NIV).
In the same way that John the Baptist preached the word of God is the same way that we should receive it and prepare ourselves for the coming or second coming of Christ. This preparation starts from within. Growing closer to God through the reading of His word, through prayer, and through application are some ways in which we can prepare the way for the Lord.
In recent months, I’ve been thrown off by life’s distractions which prevented me from nurturing my relationship with Christ. Thus, I’ll be challenging myself this advent season. Everyday leading up to Christmas (28 days starting from the first day in the advent season), I’ll be journeying with Jesus as written in the New Testament. I challenge myself to document these journeys in my journal using the SOAP method of Bible study (Scripture, Observations, Application, Prayer). It will be very challenging for me to do this everyday but with God, all things are possible.
So join with me on this challenge as I prepare a road for the Lord and make a straight path for him to travel!