Summary: When John the Baptist told the people to repent, he was telling them to turn away from their sins and ask for forgiveness. John the Baptist told the people that if they repented, their hearts would be ready for God because they turned toward God.
Good morning boys and girls!
Are you starting to get excited for the coming of Christmas?
Are you starting to get ready for the holidays? How about your moms and dads? Are they starting to get things ready for Christmas?
There’s always a lot of things to do to get ready for Christmas. There’s housecleaning, presents to buy, gifts to wrap, concerts and parties to go to, preparing for company. Are you helping your parents get ready for Christmas?
Can you imagine how much preparation your parents would do if someone REALLY important was coming to visit—someone like a king or queen? Well, our Gospel reading this morning is about preparing for the coming of someone REALLY important. Can you guess who that person is? It’s Jesus!
Before Jesus began his ministry, there was someone who prepared the people for His coming. That person was John the Baptist. Let me tell you a little about him and how he prepared the people for Jesus.
John the Baptist was born at the same time as Jesus. God had a special job for John the Baptist. He was to prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah. He was a bit unusual. He lived in the desert. He wore itchy, scratchy outfits made of camel hair. He had a big, bushy beard and long, scraggly hair. He only ate grasshoppers dipped in honey (probably to disguise the taste).
God sent John the Baptist to tell the people something important. “Stop running away from God and run to him instead. You need to be rescued. I have good news---the rescuer is coming! Make your hearts ready for him! Get ready, because your king is coming back for you.”
Large crowds of people listened to John the Baptist. They were sorry for their sins, and they wanted to stop running away from God. They wanted to be rescued, so John the Baptist baptized them---which means that he plunged them in and out of the water. It showed that they wanted to follow God and begin a new life.
When John the Baptist told the people to repent, he was telling them to turn away from their sins and ask for forgiveness. In other words, he was telling the people to behave, just like your parents tell you to behave. John the Baptist told the people that if they repented, their hearts would be ready for God because they turned toward God.
We have to make our hearts ready for the coming of Jesus too. He’s not just coming for a short visit at Christmastime (like your grandparents or other relatives). He’s coming to live in our hearts and minds so we can walk with him every day.
Let’s bow our heads and close our eyes for a moment of prayer. Dear God, thank you for sending Jesus to walk with us every day. Please forgive us and make our hearts clean so they will be a nice place for Jesus to live. We ask this in his name, AMEN.