Go Before the Lord

2018-12-09 – Year C – Advent 2 – The Rev. Christopher M. Klukas
Malachi 3:1-5; Psalm 126; 1 Corinthians 4:8-21; Luke 3:1-6

John The Son of Zechariah

  • What was it like when you were born? Joy, excitement, wonder, anticipation.
  • Some babies are born with a clear purpose. Princes and princesses. For others, their sense of purpose develops over time.
  • While John the Baptist wasn’t born into a royal household, he was born with a purpose. 
    • The Angel Gabriel Luke 1:14-17
    • Zechariah was “filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:62) and he prophesied over his son. Luke 1:76-77. You can hear echos of our reading from Malachi 3:1
  • “the word of God came to John” (Luke 3:2). Luke wants to make clear that John is a prophet sent from God. His time has now come!

Mission: Prepare the Way

  • Rev. John Flynn, a Presbyterian minister, worked as a missionary in rural Australia, he saw first-hand the difficulties of life in the outback and the lack of medical care. He worked for years to cast a vision for a flying doctor service. Eventually became the founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service. His face is on the Au. 20 dollar note.
    • “To facilitate our aircraft landing both day and night, the width must be a minimum of 90 metres and should be clear of trees, stumps, saplings, ant hills or any other obstacles…The centre 18 metres…which is used by the aircraft under normal operations must be a firm smooth surface which a heavily sprung vehicle can be driven over at a speed no less than 80 kph without undue discomfort to the occupant – this will not impede the take off or landing of aircraft.”
  • Luke quotes from Isaiah 40:3-5 to define the mission of John the Baptist.
    • This is not unlike preparing an airstrip for the flying doctor service.
    • Valleys filled in. Mountains brought low. The crooked way made straight.
    • John was to prepare the way for God’s rescue mission. This was his purpose!
    • All of this preparation is a metaphor for repentance.
  • Luke 3:3 – “proclaiming a baptism of repentance”

Going Before the Lord

  • You were born with a purpose, just like John the Baptist. It might not have been declared over you in a prophetic song, but God knew you and had a purpose for you even as he knit you together in your mother’s womb.
  • Luke 7:27-28 – “the one who is least in the Kingdom of God is greater than he.”
  • Luke 1:76-77 – “go before the Lord to prepare his ways…”
    • Isn’t this the mission of all Christians? John serves as an example for us to follow.
  • Romans 10:14-15 – “How are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?”
    • Rev. John Flynn – “Dear Dad, I’ll be 21 in a fortnight and have been thinking that I should give you my thoughts concerning the future – the more I think and the more I see the grandeur and beauty of Christianity and the hollowness of human life considered as complete in itself . . .”, and he mulled over that proposition and then continued, “if Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the Son of Almighty God; if He was in reality ‘God with us’ showing us the Father; if it is a fact that we only sojourn on this earth for a while, and then appear before the Creator of the universe. . . what more honourable calling can a man follow than getting his fellows to realise this fact and act upon it?”
  • Every single one of you is here today because someone along the way told you about Jesus.
  • Who has the Lord uniquely positioned you to be able to reach with his good news?
  • The world today is a spiritual wilderness. Prepare the way of the Lord!

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