DAY 1 (2nd week)
PREPARE TO LISTEN (in a quiet and least distracting place)
Light a candle and pray: The LORD is like the light of morning, like the sun rising on a cloudless morning, gleaming from the rain on the grassy land. (2 Samuel 23:4)
Request for Presence: May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us. (Psalm 67:1)
Be still and silent: Be aware of and then let go all distractions, both those from within (concerns about the day, etc) and those from without (uncontrollable noises).
READ Matthew 3:1-6
In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is the one of whom the prophet Isaiah spoke when he said, “The voice of one crying out in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.’” Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
SOME BACKGROUND INFORMATION
The Old Testament prophet Elijah was described as ‘A hairy man, with a leather belt around his waist’ (1 Kings 1:8). John’s clothing would have caused the Jews of his day to think of Elijah, whom many believed would return to announce Messiah when he came. John deliberately dressed to look like that ancient and very significant prophet.
John, it seems, believed that in his ministry, perhaps even in himself, the kingdom of heaven had come near. From that lofty thought, Mathew shifts attention to the mundane—John’s dress and eating habits. While none of us are a John the Baptist, we, as followers of Jesus today, are also messengers sent to prepare the way for Jesus. In this sense, even in the mundane of ordinary life where we worry about food and clothing, we too are involved in the awesome task of bringing the kingdom of God nearby.
Wonder how today in the different experiences and opportunities you can bring the kingdom of God near to those around you.
RESPOND TO JESUS IN PRAYER.
I know I’m not a John the Baptist but I also know, O Christ, that through your Spirit in me I can live in such a way that your kingdom comes nearer to my world today. Keep me alert to this all day today. In your name I pray, Amen.
BE SILENT AND STILL (for as long as you want). Simply be in the presence of Jesus, who loves you, regardless.