Scott Sanders launches our Advent series by getting lost in the bush and finding the humble path - at expense of his pride.
The Very Rev Fr Shenouda Mansour is the General Secretary for the NSW Ecumenical Council, and a Priest in the Coptic Orthodox Church.
Today's reading is Luke 3:1-6
Fear enters our space when human thoughts plays on our mind to say that there is no solution to our problems, difficulties and tribulations of all sorts. Take a moment…what is on your mind? You have been praying for some time for God to answer your prayers and supplications. As human beings, we don’t realise, God hears our prayers - regardless of the size of the request and its significance, big or small, God has listed it as a request from you.
Already in this Advent series, we’ve heard the wonderful account of Zechariah and Elizabeth, righteous and God fearing people whose prayers were answered in the birth of John the Baptist. In today’s reading, we see that the very prayers of God’s people were also answered through John the Baptist, who made straight an uncertain path as he prepared the way for Christ, for God’s salvation. The ultimate answer to an impossible prayer.
Sometimes God answers impossible prayers in unexpected ways, that we may not understand at the time or see the fruit of until many years later.
Think of your own impossible prayers. The fear of thoughts that say to us, ‘this is impossible’ is very real, and the fear of how can God solve my problems sets in our human mind. For us, we only need to place the matter between the hands of God, and make those requests in prayer and in supplication. God truly listens to your heart felt prayer as God understands the intention and love that you have for your precious family and friends.
God is the God of Miracles. God is the God that loves to do the impossible. God is the God that reminds our minds, nothing is impossible for God. God can do anything and everything. We should never fear…for God will be there to support us – God gives us His constant support and love, for God is Love.
The gift of life is waiting for you this Advent. Don’t tarry and don’t delay, it's waiting for you and God is waiting to tell you, ‘I can do it for you, only believe’.
Oh Lord help me believe, and cast my fear away from me, Amen.
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John the Baptist Prepares the Way
It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pontius Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living in the wilderness. 3 Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had repented of their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 4 Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming!
Clear the road for him!
5 The valleys will be filled,
and the mountains and hills made level.
The curves will be straightened,
and the rough places made smooth.
6 And then all people will see
the salvation sent from God.’”