Summary: the second in our advent series
Are You Prepared for Christmas?
This is the third Sunday in our Advent colander and today will be our third message in our Advent series. Two weeks ago we looked at what is in a name and in that sermon we saw the some names this child would be called. We also looked at why this child would be called those names. Today I have titled my message “Are You Prepared for Christmas,” because we need to have some things ready before Christmas comes. I do not mean we need a tree decorated, our houses lit up or even our ingredients for Christmas dinner. I do not mean that all your gifts are bought and wrapped.
Christmas is a time that we celebrate the coming of our savior as a child. We celebrate our savior becoming flesh and blood. We celebrate the coming of the one who is going to deliver us from our sins. Christmas is the time that we celebrate the beginning of human life of our LORD and SAVIOR. Christmas is a time that we sing songs that wishes good will to men. We sing songs that state joy to the world, God with us and peace on earth.
I want to ask you if are you prepared to meet this child that has walked where angels have trod? Are you prepared for the time in which you will answer for all that you have and have not done? Are you prepared to meet the Messiah and to give an account for what you have done with HIM?
Are you prepared to meet the child that we call the Messiah, the promised one that will deliver us from our captivity sin and save us from the evil one? Lets look at our scripture and see how to get prepared for this coming time of the year.
You may say after reading all of verse one and part of verse two, what does this have to do with being prepare? Well Luke, being a historian and a doctor will show us several things concerning both history and being a doctor but here he tells us of history. He is telling us about what the date of this is happening and by telling us what he is telling us we know that this has happened around 27-29 AD. I believe that it also tells us how things were then. You may recognize some of these names: Caiaphas as being the high priest when JESUS was brought before the religious leader. Annas was mentioned also when JESUS was brought to trial. These people mentioned were some of the obstacles that both JESUS and John had to face both religiously and politically.
Also in these first couple of verses we see that Luke, historian, was showing us that John is the promised prophet foretold by the prophet of Isaiah. By stating that the word of the LORD came to John Luke was trying to show that John was a prophet because this is what marks most prophets as being prophets.
In verses three to six we can begin to look at our title and answer our question of are you prepared for Christmas. If Christmas is a time that we look forward to the coming of the promised one, the Messiah, and this one is going to deliver us from our captivity and save us from the evil one and our sins we must know what we must do to be prepared to receive the MESSIAH. Here we see what we must do to be prepared for Christmas: be baptized from repentance for the forgiveness of our sins.
Baptism to the Jews was unheard of in that they only thought that unclean and unconverted Gentiles need to be baptized. Baptism preached by John was degrading to the Jews.
At the same time you must repent. There is only one way to be saved and repentance is one of the biggest components. Repentance is the admission of your sins but not only the admission of your sins but turning from your sins for go. No you will never not sin again but you will try harder not to sin. You will think twice before you sin. Repentance is a way that they world will know that you are one of the KING’S men. You apologize when you wrong someone and then refrain from doing the same thing again. Repentance is not a once in a lifetime thing rather it is a daily thing.
Here we have a fulfillment of prophecy from the prophet of Isaiah. We also see the wilderness and the wilderness is important because we know how GOD used the wilderness to renew and refresh HIS people. The people of a nation would make repair the paths through the country for the king. They made it safe and easy for the king. Kind of like the way we do for the president of the United States when he may come to our city. We make sure there are no assassins in the area and block of roads that he might be traveling. His coming to the area is kept secret and he may come at night so that he is not seen so readily. But here I believe that John is telling us that we must make our lives straight in that we must be honest with ourselves about how we live and we must be honest with those around us. We are to be repentant in that we must fill the holes in our lives that sin leaves.