December 2, 2009

Dec. 2: How do we prepare?


By Tina Peters, a senior physics major from Yellow Springs, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Luke 1:68-79 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture

“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



Comments (12)

  1. Thank you, Tina, for your simple but meaningful interpretation of this passage! I’ve copied your very helpful devotion to my “spiritual journal” to be a reminder to me to be PATIENT this Advent season, to practice my faith, including to be more faithful in prayer!

    Bonnie Sowers December 2, 2009 |
  2. Patience, faith, and prayer. I can think of few more critical dispositions for living well in Advent or anytime of the year. Thank you Tina for reminding us of these graces and diciplines. Well done.

    Jim Brenneman December 2, 2009 |
  3. Thank you once again for providing these Advent and Lenten devotional messages. How cool to have them written by students, administrators and staff. I am 74 years of age but I keep thinking that I would like to enroll at Goshen College to be immersed in the atmosphere that enables these people to write with the spiritual maturity evidenced. Blessings upon your institution this Advent season.

    Leland Eyres, retired United Methodist Pastor, Plymouth MN

    Leland Eyres December 2, 2009 |
  4. Thanks, Tina, for your beautifully written reflection. Very well done!

    Richard Aguirre December 2, 2009 |
  5. Your simplistic, yet beautiful writing for this devotion communicates volumes. Thank you.

    kurt Ehrhardt December 2, 2009 |
  6. Wonderful devotion, Tina! Thank you

    Jeff December 2, 2009 |
  7. I appreciated your emphasis on scripture and then relating it to our daily life. Beginning the day with God or scripture has a centering effect. I shall think on Zechariah—-patience, faith and prayer today

    Irene Bechler December 2, 2009 |
  8. Lovely piece. Thank you. Patience is not one of my strengths…this piece helped me to re-consider how to go that direction.

    Jep Hostetler December 2, 2009 |
  9. I have been looking for a closing for our United Methodist Womens meeting tomorrow, and think this message will be perfect, to remind us to slow down, to wait and to watch with awe for the coming once again. Thank you Tina, and Goshen for making my personal Advent more spiritual.

    Tish Herries December 2, 2009 |
  10. Thank you for a beautiful reflection.

    The Rev. Ann Whitaker December 2, 2009 |
  11. Hey Tina,

    I really appreciate your Advent thoughts on this Scripture. It has been good to walk with you in the LCG journey. I look forward to our sharing.

    Norma December 4, 2009 |
  12. Tina,
    Thanks you so much for these wonderful thoughts. You blessed me today.

    Carol Pace December 15, 2009 |