Worship with Us This Sunday - 10:15 a.m.
Overwhelmed with Longing
John 1:6-8, 19-28
6There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
19And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, "Who are you?" 20 He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, "I am not the Christ." 21And they asked him, "What then? Are you Elijah?" He said, "I am not." "Are you the Prophet?" And he answered, "No." 22So they said to him, "Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?" 23He said, "I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, 'Make straight the way of the Lord,' as the prophet Isaiah said."
24(Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25They asked him, "Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?" 26John answered them, "I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, 27even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie." 28These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
Advent for most is an incredibly busy time of year, a time of preparation for Christmas. We have so many preplanned events with family and friends that we are most often overwhelmed amongst the busyness that we are almost consumed by it. We must learn to manage this time so if only for a moment each day to separate ourselves from the chaos. Take time in that moment to remember we are nothing without God’s love, grace, mercy and examine the longing in your heart for the Messiah. Advent is a time where we should as children of God be marked by a spirit of expectation, of anticipation, of preparation, of longing for the Messiah. Not only looking forward to celebrating Jesus birth but also looking to Jesus second coming where in he will bring peace and justice and righteousness to the world.
In John 1, John the Baptist was preparing the way for the Messiah. We need to have such a longing for the Messiah and for things to be made right that we too are preparing the way for the Messiah bringing God’s love and justice to the community that surrounds us. John was not just testifying of Jesus but he was also busy baptizing and sharing in the lives of others. These things we too should be about in this time of looking to and for the Messiah. In the advent season there are so many ways to share the Love of God and people seem to be more open. Many times we try to use our circumstances as an excuse. But, looking through these scriptures you see in I Thessalonians 5 Paul, the man of bad circumstances, tells us “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances…” As difficult as it can be in certain times to rejoice we must remember that God is Sovereign over all things and has our best interest in mind.
Psalms 126 reminds us, “The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.” That doesn’t leave us with much room for excuse, so be encouraged. Also as you read Isaiah 61, “The spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor, He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…” the very scripture Jesus quoted when confronted in his hometown. Let this also direct your path and spur you on to good works.
May our lives be so overwhelmed by the longing for the Messiah that it will cause us to share and serve in the lives of others. “May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and He will do this.” (I Thessalonians 5:23-24)