December 10, 2017: Second Sunday of Advent
As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.” John the Baptist appeared in the desert proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. People of the whole Judean countryside and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed: “One mightier than I is coming after me. I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:1-8)
Imagine the scene, you are one of the people that has followed John. Everybody knows he only eats locusts and wild honey; there are lines of people waiting to be baptized by him. His powerful voice rings out and yet he says someone is coming more powerful than he. It is hard to imagine anyone mightier.
Allow yourself to feel deeply the resolve that brought you out here to be baptized. Imagine walking back home with your hair still wet from the baptism and thinking about this change of life. What will it mean tomorrow when you get up, at work, home again in the evening? In your imagination live in to the next few days with this change. Let yourself feel the anticipation of this mightier prophet.
Plan to spend extra time with some relative or neighbor who you know is housebound or in a nursing home. Before the visit pray about the person you will visit. What do you know about them, their family, their interests, their particular circumstances now? Let these things lead you to compassion. Ask God to bless the visit and then go and actually make it a reality.
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