There is a song by Michael W. Smith. It is called, “Prepare ye the way.” The first stanza says “ Give thanks to the Lord for He is good. His love endures forever. Hallelujah, oh, my soul. Praise God, all my life I will praise God. Singing songs to God as long as I will live.” The chorus is “ Prepare ye the way, Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Prepare ye the way, Prepare ye the way of the Lord.” Today is the Second Sunday in Advent. Last week we heard to watch the signs of the Second Coming of Christ. Today John the Baptist screams to the people and us to prepare for the coming of the King of
Kings and Lord of Lords who is Jesus Christ. The gospel is Luke 3: 1-6. Luke usually writes in the style of a physician. Today he has written in the style of a Social Studies teacher. He sneaks in the times of history when a certain emperor ruled along with a Roman Governor and three different Jewish Tetrachs. Luke even includes the names of two High Priests. During this time the Word of God came to John , the son of Zechariah. John the Baptist went into the country (wilderness) around the Jordan River. He began to
loudly and boldly preach a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Luke pulls from Isaiah 40 foretelling the Baptist as a voice of one crying out in the wilderness. “ To prepared the way of the Lord, make straight paths for Him.” Verse 6 says, “ And all people will see God’s salvation.” We know that the sight of God’s salvation was the actual presence of Jesus being baptized by John in the Jordan River
Interesting that God’s Word was made known by a crazy looking, rough, loud character of John the Baptist. It didn’t come through the Roman Authorities or even through the leaders of the Church. It reminds me of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry talking about “Crazy Christians.” This crazy is used in a good sense.
John still calls us to repent today in the Season of Advent. He is calling us to get ready for Jesus. He is calling for us to turn away from our sinfulness. I know that sin is a popular topic today. I wonder why that is. Maybe we find it hard to admit our sins, never mind turn away from them. We are all sinners and we need to change those things in our lives that cause us to distance ourselves from God and others.
So the questions are: are our houses in order? Would we be able to pass inspection of Jesus showed up at church right now? I know I have lots of work to do. What inner trash do we need to get rid of, or let go of in order to be prepared for Our Lord’s Second Coming? Are we going to work on making straight paths or are we going to stay stuck on our crooked veins and arteries? Advent is speeding along, but there is still time to change our ways. How about that ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future?