Hi. It's Sunday Dec. 10, the second Sunday of Advent. I hope you are having a nice Advent Season. Wow. Christmas is fast approaching us, isn't it? Sometimes I feel like I am so busy. How about you? Are you taking time to slow down and have some alone time? Some time with God? Of course all day is time with God, but I mean that special getting away time. Are you taking it?
That leads us into our Gospel reading for today:
In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea,
and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee,
and his brother Philip tetrarch of the region
of Ituraea and Trachonitis,
and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene,
during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas,
the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert.
John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan,
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,
as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah:
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths.
Every valley shall be filled
and every mountain and hill shall be made low.
The winding roads shall be made straight,
and the rough ways made smooth,
and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”
In Luke 3:2-3 we read: the word of God came to John the son of Zechariah in the desert. John went throughout the whole region of the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forigiveness of sins.
In these two Bible verses, we can learn three things that are ncecessary to turn any Christian from lukewarmness to enthusiasm about their faith. The first is that John went into the desert, the second is that the Word of God came to him, and third, John left the desert and went around proclaiming the faith. Let's look at each of these three stages:
Stage 1- We go into the desert. The desert is a place of being alone with God. We go into the desert when we take time off our jobs and household chores to be with God in church, in prayer, in reading the Word of God, etc. The desert is the place where we encounter God. We ourselves must go into the desert, to reach out to God, to look for God.
Stage 2 - The word of God comes to us. Once we open our hearts to God in the desert, God Himself comes and fills us up. A saint once said that when we take one step to God, God takes two steps to us. At this stage God takes the initiative to come to us, to fill us, to renew us, to transform us, to remold us into His image as we were created to be. When this happens to us we would like to spend the whole day alone with God in church, in prayer, in Bible reading. But like John we must go on to live our lives and carry out our duties in the family and in the society.
Stage 3 - We go about proclaiming the faith. Having experienced the goodness of the Lord in our own lives, our next desire is to share this experience with others. People look at us and see the joy and peace that radiate from us and may decide they would like to be like us. They to would like to know this God personally. Or if they already know Him, they would like to be even closer to Him.
Let us resolve, during this Season of Advent, to take the first step to make room for God. Let us take time for church, reading the Word of God, and lots of time just talking with Him and listening to Him while sitting in His Presence.
Find Your Local Toy Drive! (Toys For Tots, etc)
game: Nativity Scene Fun (like Colorforms)
Gospel reading: Luke 3:1-6