Friday, December 08, 2006

Advent, Week 1: Friday

Recommended readings from the second Sunday of Advent (from the Revised Common Lectionary):

Malachi 3:1-4
Luke 1:68-79
Philippians 1:3-11
Luke 3:1-6

Read Luke 1:68-79, then Luke 3:1-6.

Jesus would later say that there was no greater human being than John the Baptist, yet even the least in God's reign were greater than he. Riddle? Perhaps. Yet in the paradox, we can find a challenge to us today. It is one thing to "prepare the way of the Lord," and another to live in that way. John knew very well that his task was to announce the coming of the Messiah. But Jesus didn't tell people to announce his coming; that had already occured. He told us all to follow him and to do all the things that he taught.

So the question, at least for me today, is this: Will I talk about the Kingdom, or live in the Kingdom? Similarly, it's easy for me to say that I'll live a Kingdom life, yet I must do the actual work of living it.

The other thing to remember is, not everyone who is invited into God's reign will be convinced by our words about it. Yet another reason to live it as well. There is a place for gracious words; the Holy Spirit within us can be trusted to guide us when and how to speak them. That same Spirit will guide our actions as well.

Will the people I meet today, know that they've met a Christian? How will they know? Lord Jesus, help me live "a life that becomes the gospel" today, for your sake.

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