December 10, 2015

Preparing the Way

Written by Tripp Prince

Preparing the Way 12.10

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 10, 2015 

Guest Writer: Meet my son-in-law Tripp Prince. We are blessed to have him as our guest writer.

Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Luke 3:4

In just a few days time, my family and I will embark upon an adventurous journey as we load up the minivan and drive across the country to spend Christmas with our extended family. If you’ve ever attempted a similar journey, then you know it is not a trip to be undertaken hastily or spontaneously! For it to go well, we have to keep the end goal in mind and spend weeks preparing in every way to ensure we successfully get from our home to our final destination.

On Christmas Day, Christians around the world will celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ our Savior who, as the Creed reminds us, “was incarnate of the Virgin Mary and made man.” And while we do come to adore him, we must also realize that this babe in the manger came not only to be adored but also to invite us to join him on a journey. What we must recognize today is that our journey with Jesus requires intentional and meaningful preparation on our part.

“And he went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Luke 3:3).

Above all else, John the Baptist is remembered as the one who prepared the way for the Lord. He did this by inviting people to prepare for Christ’s coming by taking time to intentionally examine the state of their souls, living out a life of repentance for their sins.

While these events are on the one hand historic events from many years ago, Christians have for centuries found it helpful to reenact the story of salvation, and therefore take the weeks leading up to Christmas to intentionally hear John the Baptist’s words as though it were the first time they’d ever heard them.

We faithfully await Christ’s birthday by faithfully preparing our hearts to receive him. In the midst of the busyness of this season, can you quiet your heart long enough to hear John’s call to repentance?

As we embark upon the journey of the Christian life, we must begin with the hard work of self-examination, where we invite the Holy Spirit to come and cleanse each and every thought of our hearts that we may be prepared to receive him this Christmas. When Christmas morning comes, let us not be surprised or caught off guard. Instead, in the same way that a young child yearns for Christmas morning to come, may we be prepared for his arrival that our hearts burst forth with love and celebration at the goodness of God shown to us in the gift of Jesus our Lord, and may we then faithfully join him on the great journey of faith.

Prayer: Father, as we anticipate Christ’s birth may we also hear John the Baptist’s words and prepare for his coming through faithful repentance and prayerful anticipation.

Application: Can you carve out time this week to be still in prayer to faithfully prepare for Christmas day?

Related Readings: Malachi 3:1-4; Luke 1:68-79; Philippians 1:3-11

Tweet this today: We eagerly await Christ’s birthday by faithfully preparing our hearts to receive Him. #preparingtheway #WisdomHunters

Worship Resource: 4 minute video- Alan Jackson: Amazing Grace

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Comments

  1. KimberlyMac says:

    I was just thinking about this very thing on how we hustle and bustle the peace right out of our lives in this Christmas Season, trying to get all of our finite traditions worked in and prepare for Christmas from our worldly viewpoint… maybe it is time to flip-flop to a Kingdom perspective once again and experience the true meaning of Christmas, how this tiny baby, Jesus born in Bethlehem Christmas morning, changed everything for us.

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Kimberly,
      So beautifully said. Thank you for putting your thoughts into the words many of us are feeling right about now. Your comments, along with Tripp’s devotional, “Preparing the Way” are strong reminders for all of us to slow down, and soak up the Peace and Joy that this Miracle is all about.
      We are grateful for you and join with you as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.
      Humbled,
      Gwynne

      “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.”
      Luke 2:8-10

  2. The only way to live this life is to follow God in faith! Ty for this word today!

    1. Gwynne says:

      Dear Susan,
      Thank you for your kind words. You are so right: “The only way to live this life IS to follow God in faith!”
      Amen.
      We are thankful that you were blessed by Tripp’s devotional “Preparing the Way”. His statement, “What we must recognize today is that our journey with Jesus requires intentional and meaningful preparation on our part”, was a “wake up call” to stop, be still, and prepare our hearts.
      Merry Christmas to you and yours.
      Grateful~
      Gwynne

      “Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manager.”
      Luke 2:11-12


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