Today’s Reading: John 1:6-8, 19-28
So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.” – John 1:22-23
Christmas always requires a lot of preparation – decorating the tree and the house, preparing food, making wish lists, shopping, and planning gatherings. Thankfully, there are a multitude of services and stores willing to help us by providing everything we could want. Online shopping and catered meals ease the burden of our preparation.
Against that backdrop of our worldly preparations comes John. John was not the party type, didn’t require much variety in his food, and probably wasn’t much interested in a new set of clothes. Instead of worldly trappings, it is his message that captures our attention; “Make straight the way of the Lord!”
John directs us to see the coming Lord who made His way into our lives in baptism. The celebrations of the season can have their place, but they are no substitute for Christ. The lights on the tree are no match for the Light of the world. Christmas cookies, as good as they are, are nothing compared with the Bread of Life. When Christ is in focus, the things of this world fall into their proper place. Let the preparations for the season remind you of the greater preparation of repentance and faith in our coming Savior.
Prayer: On Jordan’s bank the Baptist’s cry Announces that the Lord is nigh, Awake and hearken, for He brings Glad tidings of the King of kings! (On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry, LSB 344:1).
This devotion was written by Reverend Tim Eckert, pastor of Word of God Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA.