Today’s Reading: John 1:6-8, 19-28
“There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.” – John 1:6-7
Parents of infants and young children understand the importance of preparation, and not just for themselves. They must make sure their children are properly dressed, fed, diapered, and everything else that goes into a typical day. Gone are the days of convenience! The children, however, are well worth the extra time and effort.
John also lived in a time of joy and responsibility. The long-awaited Savior had come – what better time to rejoice? Yet for John, it was also a burden. He lived what seemed to be a lonely existence in the wilderness without the blessings of civilization. He endured the criticisms of Jewish leaders and spent his last days in prison before being executed. In spite of it all, he had a calling – a responsibility from God – to prepare people for Jesus, and he fulfilled that calling.
We, too, have a calling from God to love our neighbor and share the good news of Jesus with them. Inconvenient? At times, yes. Joyous? Always. We have a Savior who, because of the joy set before Him, left heaven to join us and give us life through the cross and the grave. It is His life and His joy that motivates us to prepares the world to receive Him in His coming.
Prayer: Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, Born to set Thy people free; From our fears and sins release us; Let us find our rest in Thee. Israel’s strength and consolation, Hope of all the earth Thou art, Dear desire of ev’ry nation, Joy of ev’ry longing heart. (Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, LSB 338:1).
This devotion was written by Rev. Tim Eckert, pastor of Word of God Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA.