Second Sunday of Advent

Preparing for Christ

Preparing for Christ

Malachi 3:1-4 and Luke 3:1-6

As a Choctaw Indian woman and a member of United Methodist Women, I experience anticipation daily. Anticipation of answers to prayers for justice and healing, locally and worldwide. Anticipation of when God will respond and what the response will be. Unlike the solutions from mankind, Jesus never disappoints. I may not fully understand God’s timing or solutions, but I accept God’s sovereign almighty answers to my prayers.

Therefore, we can appreciate how the Israelites struggled with the anticipation of the Savior as prophesied in the Old Testament scriptures. When would the promised Lord of all save them from their sins and the unjust treatment from the idol worshipers? In Malachi 3:1-4, the prophet says a messenger will appear with God’s covenant and purify the priests for their sacrifices to be holy and pleasing to the Lord. Let’s ask God to purify our hearts, so that our gifts of love to God will be acceptable.

During this Advent season we anticipate honoring the birth of Jesus Christ. Before Christmas day, Jesus’ birth was foretold by prophets for centuries, and generations of God’s people awaited the awe-inspiring event. And waited…and waited. Then Jesus was born of Mary. She and her husband Joseph trusted God’s messengers when they were given their unusual roles in bringing this Savior into a very dangerous world. They were devoted children of God that had little time to prepare, but they swiftly followed God’s instructions with strength and joy. May this be a lesson to us as we prepare ourselves spiritually in remembering with humble adornment of this soul-saving event!

Meaningful Symbols

In Luke 3:1-6, another messenger, John the Baptist, tells the people to “Turn away from your sins, and be baptized, and God will forgive your sins.” He then quotes the prophet in Isaiah 40:3-5 about preparing the way for God’s salvation. Let’s petition our Lord to prepare us in good ways by focusing on the true meaning of all the beautiful symbolism leading to December 25th. Our Native American culture has many meaningful symbols including eagle feathers which represent the Spirit of God. We decorate clothing and other fabric with Choctaw diamonds which represent respect for the rattlesnake that protected our corn from rodents. Our churches use the cross to represent the gospel. The evergreen Christmas tree and garland stands for eternity and the Advent wreath white candle symbolizes Jesus Christ, the Light of the World.

As we wait for Christmas day, let’s replace stress with peace, and worry with faith. As we wait to honor and worship our God through Jesus by the Holy Spirit, let us be witnesses that our Savior comes from the Creator of the universe and the Creator of our souls!

Patsy Eyachabbe, a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, resides in Wister Oklahoma with her full-blood Choctaw husband, Curtis. She is the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference Chairman of the Council of Local Church Ministries and represents the South Central Jurisdiction as a Program Advisory Group member of United Methodist Women. Patsy has been an educator in both the public school system and as a Bible teacher for more than 25 years in Oklahoma. She learned at an early age that education and Jesus Christ level the playing field for all people in this world.

Posted or updated: 12/7/2018 12:00:00 AM

Give Thanks. Give Now.

Advent 2018

December 2: First Sunday of Advent
December 9: Second Sunday of Advent
December 16: Third Sunday of Advent
December 23: Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 31: New Year's Eve

Many of this year’s Advent devotions were written by Native American women, reflecting United Methodist Women's principles of inclusion, multiculturalism and equity.

Contact the Spiritual Growth Office:

Alisha L. Gordon, M.Div.
Executive for Spiritual Growth

phone 212-870-3905