Advent 3 - John the Baptist
by Andy Cokayne 11 December 2022
Today, the third Sunday in Advent, we light three candles on the Advent ring to remind us of John the Baptist.
We often picture John the Baptist as a rather wild figure, and this is echoed in our reading where he is described as one who had a coat of Camels hair, and ate Locusts and Wild Honey as his staple diet.
He was clearly one who could not be fooled, one not to be messed with, he was an uncompromising figure, and spoke uncompromising words. Yet crowds came out to the desert to hear him. No doubt today, in a world where we are encouraged to be tolerant of every variation of belief, he would have been frowned upon, avoided, and told to moderate his language.
Crowds came to him, because in the middle of the chaos of their lives, he spoke Gods word. He cut through media-hype, and exposed fake-news. He told King Herod that he was living his life wrong. He told the religious leaders that they were not just to say the right thing, but do it as well.
He came to prepare the people for meeting Jesus. He told them that they must turn from ignoring God, and doing just what they wanted, and change, and listen to God, and do what was right.
I wonder, if John appeared today, what he would say about our world, our society? What would he say to you and to me?
But remember the main focus of John’s life was to point people to Jesus. To prepare people for their coming Messiah, Jesus, God’s one and only Son. He said of himself, that he was nothing more than a signpost.
I trust that as we approach Christmas, you too will be pointed to Jesus, the true Reason for the Season.
Hymn: On Jordan’s bank
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We thank you that you know us better than we know ourselves,
We cannot fool you with the pretence we sometimes put up,
Yet you love us through it all.
We thank you for Jesus, for John the Baptist who pointed to Jesus, and for all those through the years that have done the same, and for those who have pointed us to Jesus.
As we celebrate the coming of your Son, this Christmas
Help us to welcome Him into our lives.
For we ask this in Jesus’ name.