“As it is written in Isaiah the prophet, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way, the voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”’ John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mark 1:2-4, ESV)
“So with many other exhortations [John] preached good news to the people.” (Luke 3:18, ESV)
Interested in a lively debate? Start a discussion about Christmas preparations—decorations before or after Thanksgiving, white or colored lights, garland or tinsel, best and worst Christmas songs, real tree or artificial, Santa or no Santa.
Inevitably, firmly held opinions will rise to the surface. Many of us take our Christmas prep very seriously. But as I read Mark 1 and Luke 3, it brings up a sobering question.
Are we as serious about preparing for Jesus as we are about preparing for the holiday that honors His birth? Luke tells us that John the Baptist brought good news. The Messiah was coming, and there was one way to get ready for Him—repentance, the forgiveness of sins, and baptism. His message was pointed and practical. He called out sin. He preached the necessity of righteous living.
He reminded them that their pedigree was meaningless if their heart wasn’t right. And it behooves each of us to ask ourselves this Christmas season, is my heart ready for Jesus? Have I spent more time preparing my heart than I have my decorations?
What is your answer, my friend? I pray that you can say with me, “Oh come to my heart, Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for Thee.”
Originally published in God’s Revivalist. Used by permission.