Advent is here.
Today marks the 1st Sunday in Advent.
For churches that follow a liturgical calendar it is also the “new year” for them.
Advent looks back.
We look back to the birth of Jesus.
Advent looks forward.
We look forward to his coming in the manger but also His coming in the clouds at the end.
This Sunday: hope and/or the prophets.
Liturgically, traditionally, the first Sunday is about hope as you may have noticed in our worship so far.
Today we look at one of the prophets: The Prophet of John the Baptist to help us get prepared for the season.
The mission of John: prepare the way for the Messiah.
This was his whole point.
He was the one which the OT talks about and Jesus would say was “Elijah”.
Jealousy comes in many forms.
In fact, I would argue that our world tries its best to make us jealous of something.
Just watch tv and you will find out what you need that you didn’t know you needed.
News sources vie for ratings to “outdo” their competitors.
We as churches and Christians are not immune from the effects.
To prepare we must have perspective.
To prepare for this season requires we change our perspective.
John 3:29–30 (The Message)
“That’s why my cup is running over.
This is the assigned moment for him to move into the center, while I slip off to the sidelines.
Christ is center stage.
This is what advent prepares us for.
This is the absolute characteristic we must have if this Advent is going to be a season of hope.
We don’t think less of ourselves.
This isn’t what John is talking about.
Notice he sees himself as the “best man” so to speak.
He is important he is just not the groom.
We think of Christ more.
This is what true self-knowledge comes from.