Three Advent Companions

December 13th, 2014 Posted in writing

Isaiah, John the Baptist and Mary are three Advent companions to whom we can pay attention as we prepare for Christmas.

Isaiah, in the central part of the book that bears his name, told the people that God would be with them, even after they had lost their Temple and their homeland. He told them this because he knew that God would not let anything, either the sins of the people or the might of Israel’s enemies, cancel out his promise to care for them.

If we have had the experience of wondering if God has left us alone to face the loss of hopes, dreams or relationships, Isaiah’s message reminds us that God will be with us, too, no matter what circumstances we are in.

John the Baptist’s message was to the people of his time who longed for something new. He assured them that the Savior for whom they were waiting was closer than they guessed and that change would certainly come. But they would also first have to make changes in themselves. They needed to make right their actions, minds and hearts.

As we wait for Jesus, do we need to change or re-arrange anything in ourselves in order to prepare for the salvation which he will bring?

Finally, when Mary said yes to the Angel Gabriel’s message, her answer came from her firm conviction that she was no more (but also no less) than the handmaid of the Lord. Once she knew that the request was coming from her Lord, she immediately agreed to do whatever God was asking because she knew that she was, above all, God’s servant.

Are we, too, ready to say yes to God’s will and requests? Do our answers come from the conviction that we, like Mary, are no more (and also no less) than servants and handmaids of God?

The days of Advent are growing shorter, and Christmas will be here soon. But we can still spend time with Isaiah, the Baptist and Mary, and our Advent will be better for doing so.

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