Sometimes hope is hard to come by. The harder we search for it, the more elusive it is.
This seven part series leads us into and through Advent by inviting us to stillness. In that stillness, we may begin to hear hope’s song.
Hope for Forgiveness
Read: Matthew 3:1-12
Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. (Matthew 3:3b; Isaiah 40:3)
John the Baptist functioned as a kind of advance man for the Messiah. Advent functions in something of the same way. It urges us to clean up our act as we anticipate Christ’s coming. If its “encouragement” seems a bit harsh (“You brood of vipers!”), remember part of what is implied in this call to repentance is the promise of forgiveness.
Barbara Brown Taylor points out that, “Disillusionment is the loss of illusion…and while it is almost always painful, it is not a bad thing to lose the lies we have mistaken for the truth” (The Preaching Life, p. 8). Perhaps one of the ways we can prepare the way of the Lord is to experience this kind of disillusionment. After all, “if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:8-9).
Prayer: In your mercy, O God, forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are,
and direct what we shall be.