first come, first serve
"Why do the scribes claim that Elijah must come first?" —Matthew 17:10
Before the Messiah comes, Elijah must come and restore everything (Mt 17:11). Before Christ's Christmas coming, people like Elijah and John the Baptizer must come into our lives. Before we will be ready for Christmas, we need to hear prophetic words which will lead us to repentance. We need to hear the two-edged sword of God's word so that it will penetrate our hearts and judge our thoughts and reflections (Heb 4:12). We must be immersed in the baptism of repentance (Lk 3:3) before becoming immersed in Christmas festivities. Otherwise, we will not meet Christ in our Christmas activities; rather, we will miss Him amid all our Christmas distractions.
Therefore, don't even think about Christmas. Think Advent. Don't act as if Christmas has already come. Focus on John the Baptizer, not Santa. Seek prophecy (1 Cor 14:1), repentance, restoration, and Confession. Christmas will be an obstacle between you and the Lord unless you prepare the way of the Lord (Mt 3:3). We need a holy Advent to have a blessed Christmas.
Prayer: Father, enable me to understand that I need Advent before Christmas as much as a mother needs pregnancy before giving birth.
Promise: "You are destined, it is written, in time to come to put an end to wrath before the day of the Lord, to turn back the hearts of fathers toward their sons, and to reestablish the tribes of Jacob." —Sir 48:10
Praise: Raul, a Baptist deacon, received the gift of praising God in tongues while stuck in a traffic jam listening to a Catholic radio program. Later, his pastor and several members of his congregation also received this gift.
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 27, 2012
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