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Posts Tagged ‘#repentencebringspeace’

In Isaiah “a voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God” (40:3). This voice that Isaiah is referring to is that of John the Baptizer.

It is interesting to me that today, the second Sunday of advent, the Sunday where our focus is on peace, that it is this man, John, who is part of the focus.

John, the cousin of Jesus, the one who leapt in his mother’s (Elizabeth) womb when Mary (early pregnant with Jesus) came near. He was the son that was a miracle baby for old Zechariah and his post menopausal wife. They had been waiting … waiting as we are waiting during advent. John’s choice of clothing (camel hair) and food (locusts and honey) may make him a little less relatable than others.

He was a man who took his calling as messenger seriously, “preparing the way of the Lord, (to) make his paths straight” (Mark 1:3). He did not mince words, did not deliver a happy-clappy message … he “proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (1:4). And people came, confessing their sins and having him baptize them. But, he never left them there, at their moment of public confession and being baptized. He would remind them of what … of who was to come, inviting them into the anticipation of waiting … “I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit” (1:8).

Some thought he was the Messiah, but he was quick to put them straight, saying, “the one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals” (1:7).

John did not shy away from his beliefs and (literally) lost his head for sharing his perspectives on the divorce of King Herod.

So, John the Baptist and peace …

Here’s the reality, the real, might not be what we want to hear, reality …

John the Baptist was firm on three things, for then and for now …

  1. he was the messenger … not the Messiah (we all need to be reminded of that in our own lives)
  2. repentance of sin is the only way to peace
  3. baptism is a public and physical act of an inner change

Jesus called John his “messenger” who prepared the “way”.

This was the way for those who followed and listened then, it is the “way” now, for us.

It is only through the peace of Christ … the peace that passing all human understanding, that we can truly be at peace …

at peace when the sun shines … and when the monsoons come

at peace when we are soaring in our academics … and when we are not making the grade

at peace in the healthy birth of a child … and when our child is ill

at peace when celebrating birthdays … and when standing at a graveside

at peace when planning a wedding … and when asked for a divorce

at peace when celebrating Christmas with parties, and concerts, and church services and family gatherings … and when we are looking to a quiet Christmas, separated by the realities of a pandemic.

Peace can come only through Christ, the Messiah, for those who have repented of their sins. This is the peace of Christmas

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4-7

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