Invitation and Preparation
O God, make speed to save us
O Lord, make haste to help us
Let us pray:
Blessed are you, sovereign Lord, just and true: to you be praise and glory for ever. Your prophet John the Baptist was witness to the truth as a burning and shining light. May we your servants rejoice in his light, and so be led to witness to him who is the Lord of our coming kingdom, Jesus our Savior and King of the ages. Amen.
Listen and Receive
John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
May the Word of God rest gently on our hearts, that when our hearts break the Word of God may flow in.
Reflect and Respond
John comes with an uncomfortable message, “Repent!” He lives an uncomfortable life in the wilderness, the lonely life of a prophet. He has come to the uncomfortable truth that he is not enough but is dependent on someone mightier than he. Yet, this is also a message of comfort, “Come and receive forgiveness.” It is a life of some comfort, trusting and dependent on the provision and company of God. It is a truth of some comfort, that everything is not on his shoulders.
We have much in common with John as we rejoice in the uncomfortable yet comfortable way as citizens of the Kingdom, alien yet present to the world around us. We bear witness to a reality that the world around us does not see, and we hope for a future in the coming of our Lord that stands contrary to much of what those around us would consider comfortable.
I wonder, in what ways God is inviting you to find comfort in the uncomfortable?
Blessed and Sent
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all evermore. Amen.
In this season of light, may your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.