Monday, December 21, 2015

Advent(Dec. 21): Thunder in the Desert

In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 
 For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said,
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
    make his paths straight.’”
Matthew 3:1-3

God sent John the Baptist to prepare Israel for his climactic revelation in history. A voice of a crier in the wilderness. This is quoted from Isaiah 40:3, which clearly proves that John the Baptist was the person of whom the prophet spoke.(source)
John declaired, "The Lord whom your have sought, the Messiah whom you have expected, is just coming, he will quickly appear; prepare to meet him by repentance, and receive him by faith, relinquish your former notions and principles, correct your errors, and amend your lives, remove all out of the way which may be offensive to him."(source)
"John couldn't keep quite - he kept booming out the good news, just like he was thunder in the desert! He thundered the joy of it: "Clear the road! Prepare the way! Jesus is coming!"
"Clear the way, so nothing you want stops you from seeing Jesus - so you don't let anything distract you from seeing His coming. Jesus is coming to carry the heaviness and to wash away all the badness and to give us the gift of happiness."

Do you need to clear the way - to make things right with your Savior? As John thundered to the world..."Repent, for the kingdom is at hand."
Repentance is preparation for quenching, for new growth, for rainshowers of hope and fertility. Repentance washes away our sins and makes a straight path for God to come near. 
When John thundered the good news, the people came out of their own personal deserts, to confess, repent, and plunge themselves in the cool, flowing waters of the River Jordan—to be washed clean of the past and its pain…and to be drenched in newness of Life.(source)
A Prayer of Repentance
From The Book of Common Prayer:
“Most holy and merciful Father:
We confess to you and to one another,
and to the whole communion of saints
in heaven and on earth,
that we have sinned by our own fault
in thought, word, and deed;
by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, and mind, and strength. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.
Have mercy on us, Lord. 
Accept our repentance, Lord.
Restore us, good Lord, and let your anger depart from us;
Favorably hear us, for your mercy is great.
Accomplish in us the work of your salvation,
That we may show forth your glory in the world.
We pray these things in the name of Him who saves us….Amen.”
"It was already happening. God was opening the back door of the universe - Bethlehem. The great rescue was starting! The LOVE that had been coming for us ever since the beginning was coming to undo all the bad things. Could there be a greater Gift than - a love that forever frees us?"
"Everything is almost ready for Christmas. Do you feel it? - Coming down like a gentle rain, like a gentle snow? It's the wonder of Jesus coming down like love all around us, everywhere."

Come back again, as I share Day 22 of the Advent the book, "Unwrapping the Greatest Gift".(All quotes listed are from the book, unless indicated.)
I will be sharing each story in this beautiful book, as well as some of the breathtaking pictures. Won't you join me? Stop by each day to see the stories shared. If you would prefer I email you each days post, please leave your email in the comments section or send me an email at 
and let me know. I will make sure each post is sent to you.
To view the whole series on one page, go HERE

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  1. So lovely to meet you, Ann. I'm thrilled to read about the ministry of John the Baptist -- he's one of the characters I've not yet pondered this advent season, but his role was pivotal and his heart was . . . the way I wish mine could be. Thanks for the push in the right direction.

    1. Glad to have you stop by, Michele!! I agree that often we don't think about how important John, Jesus' cousin, was an important part of His story!! Hope you have a blessed and joyous Christmas!!


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