Prepare The Way
By The McGee Family
And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
Christmas is a joyful time of year when we get to decorate our house with Christmas trees and stockings, give and receive presents, and enjoy time with family. But Christmas and Advent are not the same. Advent is a time of preparation. We prepare to celebrate the birth of our Savior. We prepare to remember the most wonderful gift ever given, Jesus the Messiah. We prepare to thank God for the fulfillment of His promise in Jesus and for the hope we have in His return. We prepare our hearts to worship the Son of God.
God prepared the hearts of His people for Jesus when He sent John the Baptist to “Prepare the way for the Lord.” John the Baptist fulfilled this prophecy Isaiah proclaimed as he preached in the Judean countryside. He shared God’s message of hope of the coming of Jesus with all who would listen. His ministry provides us with a guide on how to prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Mark tells us that John proclaimed a message of repentance from sin and forgiveness. Leading people to confess their sins and turn from them was an important part of how God prepared them to receive His Son. Repentance is also important in the maturing of Christians. Paul shares in 2 Corinthians 7:9, “‘I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us.’”
While any time of year is a good time to confess what we have done wrong and turn to the Lord in repentance, may He use this Advent season to show each of us specifically how we can turn to Him so that we can be prepared to celebrate the Savior’s birth with no unconfessed sin between us and God. As John the Baptist knew, Jesus is our hope. As we prepare our homes for Christmas, let us each prepare our hearts to fully experience God’s hope over the coming days.
Father, help me to prepare my heart to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Please show me where I need to repent and help me turn from my sin.