Advent Day 8 – Good News for December 5

5 12 2010

Matthew 3:1-12

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” It was of him that the prophet Isaiah had spoken when he said: A voice of one crying out in the desert, Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.

John wore clothing made of camel’s hair and had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. At that time Jerusalem, all Judea,and the whole region around the Jordan were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.

When he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce good fruit as evidence of your repentance. And do not presume to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God can raise up children to Abraham from these stones. Even now the ax lies at the root of the trees. Therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. I am baptizing you with water, for repentance, but the one who is coming after me is mightier than I. I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fan is in his hand. He will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into his barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

The Daily Path: John the Baptist is an Advent Man. He’s preparing the populace for the coming of Jesus. This is exactly what we should be doing in these days before we celebrate the birth of Christ. Do yourself a favor. Trade in a frantic holiday moment for some peaceful reflection with God.





Step Aside – Good News for January 10

10 01 2009

John 3:22-30

Jesus and his disciples went into the region of Judea, where he spent some time with them baptizing.  John was also baptizing in Aenon near Salim, because there was an abundance of water there, and people came to be baptized, for John had not yet been imprisoned. 

Now a dispute arose between the disciples of John and a Jew about ceremonial washings. So they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing and everyone is coming to him.” John answered and said,

“No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said that I am not the Christ, but that I was sent before him.  The one who has the bride is the bridegroom; the best man, who stands and listens for him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. So this joy of mine has been made complete. He must increase; I must decrease.”

The Daily Path: I think of how difficult it is to step back from the limelight and allow someone else to be a focal point. We are all wired to seek recognition and praise. Once you’ve experienced some form of acclaim, you want more. Glory is addictive and we are weak. I can understand what a performer or athlete experiences when their time has past. Old Satan must have been buzzing in John the Baptist’s ear, “Don’t step aside! Look at all these people. They want you, not Jesus.”

Will we step aside for the Christ?

Room to Chat: Confess sinner! You’ve eaten fast food. And you’ve used the drive-up window to order because you were in a hurry. Go straight to dietician hell… okay… I’ll confess. I love In-N-Out Burgers. And I always have to wait in the drive-thru line because everyone else loves them, too. As I watch the digital clock in the window tick away telling me how long it’s taking between orders, I could have a chat with God.