Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Second Sunday of Advent

Isaiah 40: 1-5 [6-8] 9-11
Psalm 85
2 Peter 3:8-14
Mark 1: 1-8

REFLECTION: “Start With the Heart”
When you prepare for things, were do you start? You select a logical starting point, right? Well, where do you start preparing for Christmas or, perhaps more importantly, where do you start when you are preparing yourself for a deeper connection with Jesus Christ?
Today, as we are gathered in our fellowship of Word and Sacrament, we are giving priority towards the outward manifestation of our preparation for Christ’s presence, but each and every one of us is called to go deep. We are called to start with our heart.
Starting with our hearts requires that we listen clearly to the call of God on us. We must examine ourselves… really look deeply into our spiritual state. We must fully reveal ourselves to God, holding nothing back.

ohn the Baptist, our Lord’s own forerunner, came to encourage God’s chosen people to do just that. He wanted the people to trust in God, to turn to him, and to allow his Spirit to hold sway. His baptism was meant to be a turning point, rooted in the heart of the one who had listened carefully to the words that the Sovereign Lord had placed in his heart.
Do we listen to the Word of the Lord today with the same vigor and sense of necessity that we did when we first believed? I certainly hope so… for each day we live, we draw closer to the day in which we shall behold Jesus face to face. We must continually seek to conform our hearts to his loving calling on our lives, so that on the day of his return we shall behold him without fear, but with great confidence, trust, and joy.
To be able to do that… you’ve got to start with the heart.
In what ways do I still need to prepare my heart for the celebration of Christmas… and for Christ’s personal coming at my last day?