Monday, December 10, 2012

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!

On December 9th, 2012 my oldest son, Josiah Samuel Asbill, was born again from above as he entered the covenant of faith through water baptism.  My husband and I had spoken with him about it two years ago as we began to see faith becoming real to him.  At the time he said he wasn’t ready but would tell us when he was.  We didn’t push him as we wanted it to be 100% his decision.  Two months ago he came to us and said, “God told me it’s time, and He wants me to be baptized during Advent”.  To be honest my husband and I were a little surprised as this would be our very first time to celebrate Advent (see my article on Advent for that story), but we knew he had heard the Lord.  As we began to study we realized that Advent is a spiritual time of preparation.  A time to prepare your heart with repentance as well as renewing your expectation for the second coming of our Lord.  Each Sunday has different liturgies and scriptures read.  This year the reading for the 2nd Sunday of Advent (the day of my sons baptism) covered John the Baptist!  John calling on people to repent, and prepare the way of the Lord by being baptized. . .

December 9th also happened to be the first day of the Feast of Dedication (aka Hanukkah).  The Feast of Dedication is about the cleansing and rededicating of the temple in Jerusalem after it had been destroyed with idols and pagan sacrifice by Antiochus Epiphany.  It may be a Jewish Feast, but that Jewish Feast was celebrated by our Jewish Messiah (see John 10:22-23) as well as his Jewish disciples who encouraged us with these words:

1 Corinthians 6:19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.

During Hanukkah each year our family remembers to rededicate our lives and temples to the Lord with prayer and repentance. So take all of this in and realize that in a time of year that the world is over-eating, maxing out credit cards, and attending elephant gift exchanges, my ten year old stopped to listen to the voice of the Lord calling him to repentance, cleansing, and dedicating his temple! 

Before the baptism our Pastor spoke a word over him; the Josiah of the Hebrew Scriptures being called as a prophet that called his people to repentance and back to God’s Law.  Our pastor confirmed this as the call on our son’s life (and if you don’t know our Josiah, Pastor Rick hit the nail on the head!).  Josiah was then dressed in a white robe as a symbol of the purity and cleansing of baptism.  Our Pastor took him through a series of questions asked before the entire church about his commitments to serve God, repent of his sins, and walk in the way of the Lord.  As I watched my son go through the “second-birth” I have to say that as a mother it was even more powerful than the experience of his human birth (and less painful!).  When he came up as the new creation the scripture promises our Pastor anointed his head with oil in the form of the cross and then allowed our entire family to place hands on him and bless him.  What I forgot to mention is that not only Roman, myself and our other children were there, so were his Grandparents and Great-Grandmother.  Four generations of those who are called to the House of our God!  Now my grandmother has witnessed the baptism of her children; her children’s children; and her children’s, children’s, children!  Wow!

Psalm 145:4 One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts.

I share the joy of this day with all of you to present a challenge.  Don’t wait for the New Year to “resolve” to be different.  Follow the example of a ten year old little boy, who opened his heart to hear the Fathers voice and answered.  Take this time to quiet yourselves before your King and ask what ways you need to prepare your temple for His coming!

Matthew 3:3 "The voice of one crying in the wilderness: 'Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.' "