He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. 16 Many of the people of Israel will he bring back to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Just 6 months before the advent of the Christ, John the Baptist is born.
Jesus would say he is matchless among those born of women.
He is filled with God's Spirit from birth.
He's got Elijah-like power; he turns men to dwell on what is their true spiritual charge.
He makes God's people ready for God himself.
John the Baptist is in some ways the last of his kind--a prophet cut from the Old Testament cloth. He represents a time when God dealt with his people in a different way. He comes to announce the Messiah like a runner would come to announce the arrival of the king.
His central message is repentance--the message that makes one ready for Jesus.
So, to receive all that there is from God this Advent season, prepare your heart and life by casting off the patterns you have grown so accustomed to and the attitudes that have you trapped, conned into thinking this is all there is.
We open our hearts to you, Christ. Come into our world!
Labels: advent, Christmas, Jesus Christ, New Testament, prophecy, spirituality