As we journey through Advent, we would be wise to remember that is in fact a journey – not just for the Biblical cast, but for us as well.

Prepare yourselves today to listen for the word and guidance of God as we, too, follow the star closer to the heart of God.

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Those sent by the Pharisees asked, “Why do you baptize if you aren’t the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”

John answered, “I baptize with water. Someone greater stands among you, whom you don’t recognize. He comes after me, but I’m not worthy to untie his sandal straps.” This encounter took place across the Jordan in Bethany where John was baptizing.

John 1:24-28

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John continued to confuse the religious leaders of the time as he baptized people in preparation for the arrival of Jesus. Religious leaders had been watching for signs of Elijah’s return or the new Messiah that would save them. They were beginning to see these signs now in John, but he continued to remind them that he was not the prophet and that someone was coming after him, someone who “stands among them,” already in their midst.

We often like to think of ourselves in the hero’s role of the stories of the Bible, but there are times when we are more like the antagonists. Perhaps we are like the Pharisees today; we are seeking God, hoping for a prophet that comes with great signs, but we miss where God is already standing among us.

Where are you looking for God? And where could God already be in your midst?

Melissa Kessler

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God in our midst, help me remember that you don’t always come in huge flashes of lightning or great signs, but are often in our midst quietly, standing there and waiting for me to notice you. Open my eyes to your ever-present love in my life. Amen.

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Look today for the stars in your life, providing guidance along the journey towards the heart of God – your mission in this world.

And go, following bravely and joyfully, wherever the star may lead you as you make Christ’s presence in the world known.

Melissa Kessler

Rev. Melissa Kessler is a minister in SW Virginia where she enjoys porch sitting, changing leaves, and talking about the nature of God and faith in our lives.

Unto Us: Away In A Manger


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