BaptC22. Isaiah 40:1-5, 9-11. “A voice cries out: In the desert prepare the way of the Lord!” In the Old Testament Isaiah says to make the way of the Lord straight and clear
into his sin- filled peoples’ hearts as a way of returning them from the punishment of exile. “Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together.” Look to the Lord who makes whole what was broken. He is seen here and to be seen in the New Testament as the shepherd who cares for his people with tenderness and love.
Luke 3:15-16, 21-22. “The people were filled with expectation, and all were asking in their hearts whether John might be the Christ.” As what the magi were seeking in following the star, the people now were seeking what God had for them in the person John the Baptist. John makes it clear that he is just preparing the way for the Christ who is much more than John. “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” When John was baptizing Jesus, “the Holy Spirit descended upon him.” “And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.’” As in Luke’s Christmas narrative, here the glory of the Lord shone upon Jesus. God the Father calls upon us to daily give glory to Jesus his Son.
Titus 2:11-14, 3:4-7. “The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly and devoutly.” “He saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he
richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savor.” To make his way straight into our hearts, we must live in submission to his will, rejecting our own natural desires to rule our own lives.