|Theme:||Preparing for Christ's coming. Advent 2, Year C|
|Object:||Mop, pail, sponges, and other cleaning supplies|
|Scripture:||As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. And all mankind will see God's salvation.'" Luke 3:4-6 (NIV)|
Christmas is coming. What an exciting time of year. It is often a time when company comes. Maybe it is grandparents who will come for Christmas, or perhaps a favorite aunt or uncle. I love it when company comes, don't you? I love it, but it also means that there is a lot of work to do. We wouldn't want company to come and find our house in a mess, would we? No way!, We have to mop the floors, vacuum the carpet, dust the furniture, clean the bathrooms, make sure the beds are all made, and there are no dirty clothes laying around.
In our Bible lesson today, we read about a man named John who went into the country around the Jordan River preaching and telling people to prepare for the coming of the Lord. When John told people to prepare for the coming of the Lord, he didn't mean that they should go home and sweep the floor, pick up their toys, and make their beds. He meant that they should prepare their hearts. How? By repenting of their sins and turning toward God. When they did this, John would baptize them in the Jordan River. That is how he got the name, "John the Baptist."
The Bible tells us that Jesus is coming again and, just as in the day of John the Baptist, it is important for us to make sure our hearts are clean and ready for the coming of the Lord. We do that by confessing our sins and asking God to forgive us. If we will do that, the Bible tells us that he will forgive us and make our hearts clean.
Cleaning house isn't something you can do one time and forget it. It is something that we must do every day. If we kept our house clean all the time, it wouldn't be such a big job to get ready for company. That same thing is true when it comes to keeping our hearts ready for Jesus' return. We can't ask God to forgive us one time and then go on our merry way. It is something we must do every day. We must spend time each day in prayer, reading his Word, and asking God's forgiveness for those things that keep us from being ready to welcome Jesus' return.
Jesus is coming! How exciting! But first, there is some heart cleaning that must be done!
Father, forgive us of the things that we do each day that are not pleasing to you. Make our hearts clean so that we will be ready for the return of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. In his name we pray. Amen.
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