God prepared John [the Baptist].
God prepared Mary.
God prepared Joseph.
But the thing we can also see in our passage
here is that God prepared the people.
[ … ]
God is working on each and every one of us.
… Joseph’s story was different than John’s story.
… John’s story was different than Mary’s story.
… Zechariah’s story was different than Joseph’s story.
Each and every one of us have our own stories
about how God is preparing us. In these stories,
we can see that while they may have had their
plans and they may have thought they knew
what was going to happen
… God truly had a plan for them
… God had a course for them to take
to be a part of His message—the Gospel,
the story about the One who was to come.
The crazy thing, though, is most of the
time when we’re in this preparatory state,
we don’t know what’s going on.
And we don’t see what God is doing.
It’s like being in the middle of a storm
when the hurricane picks up and throws
all the water around. What do you see?
You see the chaos.
It might be calm
and you might be moving through things.
But you can’t see where you’re going.
Then when you get out of it, you’re able to
look back and you can go, “Wow! God was
preparing me for this through THAT…
He prepares each & every one of us differently,
which is why I love hearing people’s stories of
how God prepared them to bring them to a point
—of what? [To a point of] repentance
and confession of who He is in their lives.
Sermon by Assistant Pastor Roy Ryder