Dec. 2: How do we prepare?
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“Blessed be the Lord.” Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, began this song of praise and thanksgiving to the God of Israel. And yet, Zechariah’s song does not seem to be about his son John, but about John’s role in preparing the way of the one to come after him.
We too are like Zechariah. We are waiting. Anticipating. Preparing for the one to come after John. Zechariah speaks of his son as a prophet, the one who will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. It is John who readies the world for the coming of the Christ. By his preaching and baptizing he is the one who tills the ground to allow the teachings of Jesus to take root.
But how do we prepare ourselves, today, during Advent for this great gift that we will receive once more on Christmas Day? This gift that we will receive as Zechariah says, “by the tender mercy of our God?”
Three things will help us prepare. It is with patience, faith and prayer that we will be able to follow this Advent season in the path of Zechariah. Patience will help us to slow down and invite the stillness of God into our lives. Faith will enable us to wait in joyful anticipation for what is coming at its due time. Prayer will allow God to prepare our hearts for this time we so eagerly await. And “the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” during this darkest time of the year.
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:68-79 (NRSV)
‘Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
for he has looked favourably on his people and redeemed them.
He has raised up a mighty saviour for us
in the house of his servant David,
as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us.
Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors,
and has remembered his holy covenant,
the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham,
to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies,
might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness
before him all our days.
And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
to give knowledge of salvation to his people