Home Invitation to Discipleship for December 7, 2014 — Second Sunday of Advent

Invitation to Discipleship for December 7, 2014 — Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40:1–11; Psalm 85:1–2, 8–13 (UMH 806); 2 Peter 3:8–15a; Mark 1:1–8

Prepare the way of the Lord! This is the challenge we are given by John the Baptist in today’s gospel text. While sitting through two recent baptisms, listening to parents promise to raise and nurture their children in the faith, I began to reflect on how well I am fulfilling the promise I made at my son’s baptism almost six years ago. How well am I helping to “prepare the way of the Lord” in his life?

This year we are approaching Advent and our Christmas preparations a little differently at home. One of the simplest changes was our Advent calendar. Instead of opening a chocolate-filled space everyday, we are counting down by cutting off a link of an Advent chain. Each day lists an act of kindness to perform as a way of reminding ourselves and helping others to remember that Christmas is not about how many presents one receives under a tree, but about sharing God’s love and hope that was offered to us through a baby born in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. I’ll confess that there was some initial protest to the elimination of the daily chocolate treat, by my son also admitted that previous years’ countdowns only made him focus on how many days until he got to open presents. Hopefully, in our small circle during this Advent season, we can help make the path for people to see Jesus a little straighter.

Questions to Consider:
How are you preparing the way of the Lord? Are you preparations more focused on buying and decorating, or are you intentionally looking for God and helping to make a path for others to see and experience God? How are you helping the children in your life remember that Christmas is about God’s gift to us, Jesus Christ?