Devotion and Prayer for Week of December 7, 2014

Meditation for the Week of December 7, 2014

 

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way. The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” – Mark 1:2-3

 

 

From what I understand, it used to be the case that when a king would come into a particular region of his kingdom, he would have heralds announcing his coming. As some people did this then, there would also be people who did work along the path to ensure that the king’s caravan would have the easiest path to his destination. Those doing this work would have to clear plants and rocks and other obstructions, which would have otherwise impeded the progress of the king as he made his visit to his subjects.

In this verse from the Gospel of Mark, we hear Mark quoting the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, who said that the Lord would send a messenger to fulfill this role of the herald calling out for people to clear this path. In the Bible we see this herald was John the Baptist. John called people to prepare because Jesus had been born and was coming to the people through His earthly ministry.

So what does this mean for us people two thousand years later? After all, Jesus has come long ago. What should we do? How do we make the paths straight for someone who has already come?

Well you see, as we celebrate the Christmas season we of course are reminded once more that Jesus has already come. This is important because in that coming, He was born, lived, and died as the One taking our place under God’s punishment for sin. But we are also reminded that He is the One who still comes to us today. You might be saying then, how does He come today? Well He comes to us as we hear His Word in Scripture. Through that Word, He tells us of His work and promises through His coming before, He won the forgiveness of sin. But He also tells us that as we hear the Word now, He brings that forgiveness to us.

So then, how do we prepare for this coming? We do just like John the Baptist told the people two thousand years ago. We repent. We confess with the Word that we as people are sinner. We have not done what God calls us to do. We have not loved Him completely as we should, and we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves, like He tells us to. So we repent. And as we confess that we are sorry for our sins, in His mercy He tells us that this Jesus, this King who came so long ago, still comes and forgives our sins today.

 

Our Weekly Prayer              

Gracious Lord, in your mercy grant us hearts of repentance to prepare for Your coming. Amen.