This is the first Sunday of Advent 2020—four Sundays of preparation for the birth of Christ.
All four gospels record the story of John the Baptist preparing thepath for the arrival of his cousin and savior Jesus.
Luke 1:16-17 (NLT)
The angel speaking to Zechariah regarding the birth of his son John the Baptist.
“And he will turn many Israelites to the Lord their God. He will be a man with the spirit and power of Elijah. He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and he will cause those who are rebellious to accept the wisdom of the godly.”
• Why do you think John will call the people of God to “turn” or
The call to return (repent) was not only to individual persons but to the people, not just an individual repentance but a group repentance. The redemptive mission of God is to restore God’s People in God’s Place enjoying unlimited access to God’s Presence forever. God calls His chosen people a “treasured possession.”
• What would corporate repentance look like?
How to be prepared according to Luke 1:16-17?
—Turn—repent individually and corporately. We have wandered away; the pandemic has called us to faithfulness.
—Operate in the spirit and power of Elijah who confronted evil and gave the people a choice to serve pagan gods or Yahweh.
—Results of turning are that families will be nurtured (fathers hearts turned to their children) and religiousness will be replaced by godly wisdom.
• Where do you see God preparing His people during this
—Hunger for Worship on-campus and on-line.
—Appreciation for the value of the Church. We are hurt in relationships and we are also healed in relationships. We need one another.
—Resource Center for Food, Clothing, and Hope has taught us to move from just providing resources to our patrons to building relationships. Poverty is a lack of meaningful relationships. All of humanity suffers from poverty, both the down and out as well as the up and out. Our relationships are impoverished with God, self, others, and things. The Resource Center brings us to level ground as the people of God being prepared for right relationships with God, self, others, and things.
Let’s get ready for the arrival of Jesus!