I recently heard an Advent message entitled, “#repent #youscumbags.” She was kidding. Sort of. This was the message of John the Baptist, the one who came to prepare the way. I don’t know if John the Baptist would have used the word scumbag. He might have though. He was a gritty fellow.
The point she was making in her message was that Advent is about preparation. It’s about waiting. It’s about the hope of the Messiah coming to make things new. I haven’t heard anyone use John the Baptist in an Advent message for quite some time. It fits though.
@EffectiveTeams has this quote in their Twitter feed: You don’t drown by falling in the water. You drown by staying there. Repentance is the equivalent of getting out of the water. Holding on to our past sins – shameful, painful, and full of regret – will eventually drown us. John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus. If Advent is preparation, perhaps John’s message of repentance is one that we need to embrace more fully.
As we sing Joy to the World, especially the line that sings, “Let every heart prepare Him room…”, I think repentance is a must in the preparation. It’s hard to make room for Jesus when we are carrying around our regrets. Repentance is the way to clean house, to carve out space for the Christ Child. May we not miss the opportunity in this Advent season to come to God and trust that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
Til next time,