This week, we are privileged to be led in worship by both the Starmount and Oak Ridge choirs in our annual cantata service. This service will be structured differently than our usual services, in that it will be filled with a mix of music and readings. One of the most powerful aspects of a service like this one, is that it expresses the broader narrative of God’s story and God’s actions to bring about redemption and salvation within creation.
However, since we will not be reading one specific scripture story this week, I wanted to share with you the lectionary reading scheduled for the second Sunday in the season of Advent.
1 In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, 2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 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.’” 4 Now John wore clothing of camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then the people of Jerusalem and all Judea were going out to him, and all the region along the Jordan, 6 and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Throughout the season of Advent, we hear a lot about John the Baptist, and for good reason. This scripture points to the purpose of John’s ministry; one that was foretold by the prophet Isaiah. John was to be the voice crying out in the wilderness. He was the one who was to prepare the way of the Lord.
Just as we read this week about the ways John prepared the way for the coming Christ, so too should we reflect on the ways we might prepare for the Christ child that is to come. I pray that you will join us this Sunday so that we might pray, reflect, and worship together as the beautiful music of the cantata fills both our sanctuary and our hearts.