Now is the time to prepare for the Coming of the Messiah this Advent Season. Meet us here each day of Advent where we will be posting a blog written by members of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, representing an intergenerational sampling of contributors as they reflect on the scripture selections from the Daily Lectionary Advent readings from the Book of Common Worship. If you would like to download a copy of the First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem Advent Devotional, CLICK HERE.
LECTIONARY READING: Amos 3:12–4:5; 2 Peter 3:1–10; Matthew 21:23–32
The prophet Amos spoke harsh words to the Israelites as he warned of God’s coming judgment for their disobedience. Peter warns all Christians that although the Lord is patient with us, we must come to God to repent. It is in Matthew 21:23–32 that Jesus speaks directly to the chief priests and warns them that their lack of repentance and belief in him will keep them from the Kingdom of God.
Jesus uses the parable of two sons to illustrate what obedience means. Two sons are asked to work in the vineyard; one son says no but later repents and goes to work. The other son says he will work but then does not go. Jesus says that only the first son has made himself right with the father.
These scriptures point me in the direction of obedience to God. I am not like the son that promises to work for the father and then sneaks away and does not obey, or am I? Jesus tells me to repent, to follow, and obey his word.
In order to prepare my mind and soul for the coming of the Christ child, I must embrace becoming right with God by repenting of my sins and following his directions.
Prayer: Dearest Lord, help me obey your word and put you first in my daily life. Forgive me for my sins and failures. Help me to persevere in you. Amen
- Tim Strayer