Advent Devotion - Day 14


December 10, 2022

Join us through this special time of Advent as we dive deeper into the Word of God. Each day, we will pray and reflect on a different passage from Scripture. Daily Readings are from the Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings, and reflections are written by our church staff.

Opening Prayer:

O creator and mighty God, you have promised strength for the weak, rest for the laborers, light for the way, grace for the trials, help from above, unfailing sympathy, undying love.

O creator and mighty God, help to continue in your promise. Amen.

A Prayer for Strength – United Methodist Book of Worship 524
(A Traditional Prayer, Pakistan)

Scripture Reading:

Luke 3:1-18
John the Baptist Prepares the Way

In the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was ruler of Galilee, and his brother Philip ruler of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias ruler of Abilene, 2 during the high priesthood of Annas and Caiaphas, the word of God came to John son of Zechariah in the wilderness. 3 He went into all the region around the Jordan, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins, 4 as it is written in the book of the words of the prophet Isaiah,

“The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
  make his paths straight.
5 Every valley shall be filled,
  and every mountain and hill shall be made low,
and the crooked shall be made straight,
  and the rough ways made smooth,
6 and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.’ ”

7 John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore, bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor,’ for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. 9 Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”

10 And the crowds asked him, “What, then, should we do?” 11 In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none, and whoever has food must do likewise.” 12 Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, “Teacher, what should we do?” 13 He said to them, “Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you.” 14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what should we do?” He said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages.”

15 As the people were filled with expectation and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah,[a] 16 John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water, but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire. 17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

18 So with many other exhortations he proclaimed the good news to the people.


During this Advent season, I have spent a great deal of time reflecting upon a few key words. Watching, waiting, and preparing are the three words I have focused on the most. I find that when I focus on a particular word during my prayer and devotional times I am not as distracted. Watching, waiting, and preparing are significant words during the Advent season. During the Wednesday night Advent study, I asked our group, "What are we each watching, waiting, and preparing for during this holy season?"

In the time leading up to Jesus’ birth and before his ministry began, there were those who were watching, waiting, and preparing for a new day to begin in all of Israel. One of those who was doing each of these three things was John the Baptist. From the beginning of Jesus’ life, John the Baptist is also part of Jesus’ greater story. Remember how John leaps for joy in Elizabeth’s womb when Mary and Elizabeth meet in Luke 1? Read Luke 1 to rediscover this wonderful moment between Mary and Elizabeth. From the very beginning of conception, John the Baptist was watching and waiting for Jesus to enter his life and once John encounters Jesus he begins to prepare the way for the Messiah in all of Israel. John will need a great deal of strength to prepare the way of Jesus. After all, John the Baptist will give his life in preparing the way of the Lord.

During this holy season, let each of us call upon the Lord and ask for His strength no matter what we face, and in doing so, let us watch, wait, and prepare for what God is calling us to do. Join me on Wednesday night for dinner and the Advent study. I will dive much deeper into how John the Baptist is a person we should study during this special time of year.

Daily Challenge:

Find a moment to pause today. Slow down and ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What is God calling me to watch for?
  2. What is God asking me to wait upon?
  3. What is God wanting me to prepare for so that I may share his Glory?
Today's reflection is written by:
Dr. Matthew Mitchell

Senior Minister
Church of the Servant
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