Thursday, December 11, 2014

Prepare - 12th Day of Advent

Today's word, prepare, goes back to the "messenger" before.  John the Baptist prepared the way for Christ:
2 As it is written in the Prophets: “Behold, I send My messenger before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee.”
3 “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.’”  (Mark 1:2-3)
Apostles of Christ prepared the way for Christ's return.  And disciples of Christ continue to prepare the way.  There's a lot of work to be done, and many hands make light work, but all hands are needed.

The video below was the rather more tame video than the first one I looked at from Godspell.  However, it shows many ways that need to be prepared in order to make the path straight for Christ's return:

People need both their minds and their hearts engaged.  This is something the Episcopal Church could use some work in.  The liturgy is awesome - when you know the reasons behind it, the passion that went into it, the history and the tradition; and yet, like every good teacher, we have to find a way to get the students to engage in the process of learning those things, so they, too, can love it.

Every teacher can tell you, if the belly is empty, the mind cannot comprehend.  And yes, we, as a church must help to feed the souls of those who are spiritually hungry - but sometimes they are also physically hungry and are unable to hear you.  Jesus fed a crowd with fish and bread, knowing that He could go on speaking and all would listen, but many would not hear.  Volunteer your time, your resources, your excesses to help those who need to hear the message of Christ, and will hear better with fully bellies and warm bodies.

Always we have the need to pray - to know without doubt that God listens; that we're not just babbling out loud, but talking to God.  Part of this again, goes back to teaching - we have to teach others to look for God in the great and the small, in the beauty of the sunrise and the laugh of a child, in the intricacies of DNA and the simplicity of a single cell.  The wonder and awe of God should fill our hearts, even as our minds work at comprehending.  That wonder and awe lead to prayer; the need for understanding leads to prayer; the breakthroughs in knowledge lead to prayer - if that is your automatic response to the world around you.  Teach your children to pray.  If someone asks you to pray for them, to "add them to the prayer list", stop right then, take their hand and pray.  If, like me, you have difficulty with extemporaneous prayer, have a "go to" prayer that you've memorized, but remember to personalize it for the situation.  The Book of Common Prayer has a prayer for most situations.

The challenge today is to think about what needs to happen before the return of Christ.  We're now in advent, leading up to the celebration of the birth of Jesus (or as pointed out in the video below, Yeshua, the Hebrew pronunciation of Jesus' name).  But we're also in the advent of the time leading up to the return of Christ, and we need to invite people in - let them know that they're welcome, whether it's for service, or for fellowship at another event, or even just for coffee hour.  Small steps lead to questions, and we know God has the answers - they'll learn that too.

Activity for the Day:  Invite someone to join you for a family meal or coffee or in some of the weather around the country, hot chocolate.  Talk about your own upcoming celebrations, and find out what they're up to.  Invite them to join you, and if you're interested in their celebrations, ask if you could also attend.  Don't push - just prepare the way.  God will do the rest.

No comments:

Post a Comment