DEVOTIONS @ 205.825.9633
Senior Minister Ricky A. Woods
@ 8:15am & 7:15pm
Dial (205) 825-9633 a few minutes ahead of the scheduled start time.
P.S. REMEMBER, DON'T ANNOUNCE YOURSELF AFTER THE START TIME AND PLEASE PUT YOUR PHONE ON MUTE!
The passage today is the first gospel reading for the season of Advent, that season of anticipation and expectation. The way God communicates in this season is not through a grand miracle but through a simple man. John the Baptist is sent by God to preach the word of God to the people of God. John came preaching a particular message and it was one of repentance.
J.B. Phillips asked a question in his book “Whatever Happened to Sin?” Has sin ceased to exist and is sin no longer a concern for the church? John makes it clear there are things that we are prone to do that are against the will of God and put us at odds with our Maker. Each time we defraud someone. Each time we oppress someone. Each time we use privilege as a weapon against the disadvantaged, we wound the heart of God.
The blessing of God in the preaching of John did not come without repentance and our willingness to change and place our interest behind the interest of God.
Repentance is always hard because it forces us to be honest with ourselves, not about what we see but agree with what God says about us. Repentance is hard because it is not the work of reclamation that we do by sheer determination to change. Repentance is the work of the Holy Spirit that convicts us and causes us to see what we cannot see without the Spirit’s aid. The preaching of repentance as preparation for the coming of the Messiah was crucial for without repentance the message of Jesus would be missed and the kingdom of God would be manufactured in the image of me--not the master.
Before the babe in the manger, before wise men and shepherds, before angels singing, there is a lone voice of a single man send by God with a particular word--repent. May the Holy Spirit fall on us in this season of Advent and bring us to repentance and thereby make us ready to receive the gift of God coming our way.