29 October 2015

Luke 3

Or, Advent with St John the Baptist.

Wreaths and calendars, Jesse trees and Philip's Fast; as parents, preparing for Advent can involve a dizzying whirl of ideas and worries about how to "do it right" so that our kids will understand the purpose of the season. And the first Sunday of Advent is only a month away, so lots of people's very different recommendations and perspectives have been tumbling around my mind lately! But reading this week's chapter, St John the Baptist also had something to say about how to prepare for Christ's coming: 

10 And the people asked him, saying: What then shall we do?

11 And he answering, said to them: He that hath two coats, let him give to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do in like manner.

12 And the publicans also came to be baptized, and said to him: Master, what shall we do?

13 But he said to them: Do nothing more than that which is appointed you.

14 And the soldiers also asked him, saying: And what shall we do? And he said to them: Do violence to no man; neither calumniate any man; and be content with your pay.

Those aren't all the most specific of instructions unless you're a soldier or a tax collector, but they contain some good general guidelines for all of us: be content with what we have, share our abundance with those who are in need, and live our particular vocations as well and with as much regard for others as we can. There are a lot of ways to do those things, and reading this passage helped me remember that even among several families celebrating Advent, the specifics of "doing it right" can look different. I need to make sure our observance of Advent includes all of John the Baptist's ways to prepare for Christ's coming—and the "sharing with others" is something in particular that I want to think more about how we can work on it this year—but maybe I can stop worrying as much about whether we're doing everything exactly the same as someone else.

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