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Journey to Bethlehem Day 20

Friday, December 20 Matthew 11:2-10

2 Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples 3 and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” 4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: 5 the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. 6 And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
7 As they went away, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? 8 What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.9 What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is he of whom it is written,
“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
who will prepare your way before you.’

John the Baptist was called to prepare the way of the Lord. He went around the region proclaiming a baptism for the forgiveness of sin: “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” (Matthew 3:2) and “I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” (Matthew 3:11). People flocked to him for he proclaimed a message of hope.
In a way, we are all called to be John the Baptist’s – maybe not having to wear a garment of camel’s hair or eat locusts – but to go out in the wilderness of our neighborhoods and workplaces and prepare the way of the Lord. People are searching. They may not know exactly what they are searching for, but their hearts yearn for the love of God our Father found in Jesus Christ our Lord. That’s what the crowds were searching for. That’s what people today are searching for. We are God’s messengers of His gospel to the world. Let us all go forth in the power of the Holy Spirit proclaiming a baptism in Christ for the forgiveness of sin that all who receive Him and believe in His name will be saved.

God of all, send us now into the world in peace, and grant us strength and courage to love and serve You with gladness and singleness of heart, that we may prepare the way for others to receive You and know You. In the power of Your Name. Amen!