Advent Devotion for December 12

By Phil Geyer

Read Matthew 3:1-6

John the Baptist could perhaps also be called John the Preparer.   His own father, Zecharias, prophesied that John would “go before the Lord to prepare His ways.” Even before he was born, it seems like he took his mission very seriously, leaping in the womb the first time that he is in the presence of his cousin, Jesus.

He apparently approached all of his life with enthusiasm, living in the desert, baptizing, and not hesitating to criticize Pharisees, Sadducees, and King Herod.  The one time that we know of him showing hesitancy is when Jesus comes to be baptized.  Seeing his cousin and realizing, perhaps in a new way, who had come down to his spot on the river, he seems to be a bit less forceful.

As we approach the midpoint of our Advent walk and continue to prepare for the celebration of Christ’s birth, perhaps we tend to start approaching things in a routine fashion.  It is all too easy to coast a bit, to start doing things in an automatic way.

I don’t know what it would have been like to hang around John the Baptist, but perhaps we need someone like him to remind us of the enthusiastic approach we should have during this season.  Nothing “routine.”  Nothing “normal.”  Rather, preparing to celebrate the Son of God coming to earth and being reminded that the result is far beyond our expectations.

We pray: O Heavenly Father, as we seek You in a special way during these short weeks, help us to approach You with a fresh enthusiasm.  Keep us from expecting too little and falling into an easy routine.  Remind us, O Lord, that we have only begun to understand who You are and what You have done for us.  We pray in the name of Jesus and by the power of His Spirit.  Amen.