Happy Second Sunday of Advent and Happy Christmas!
Second Sunday of Advent Reflections: On the Second Sunday of Advent, we remember the ministry of St. John the Baptist and his testimony about Jesus as the coming Messiah. As we will see in a few minutes, St. John the Baptist was a bold and interesting man, who was focused on getting people ready to meet Jesus the Messiah. In the days of St. John the Baptist, Israelites went to be baptized as an outward sign of repentance and their love for Yahweh.
After Jesus resurrected from the dead on Easter, Jesus instituted Trinitarian Water Baptism in Matthew 28:18-20, "18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 'All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things, whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen'" (KJV 1611).
Once Jesus instituted this new form of water Baptism, Salvation was connected to both Faith the Holy Trinity and to the waters of Holy Baptism. In John Chapter, as we looked at my blog post "Holy Baptism: August is my Baptismal Month," both Faith in Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and water Baptism are required for Salvation. St. John the Baptist's Baptism foreshadowed Jesus' Trinitarian Baptism, which he instituted after His Resurrection. When a person experiences water Baptism in a Trinitarian Christian tradition, the Holy Spirit goes inside of them to protect them and guide them. It is a amazing, that Holy Spirit can be the Third Person in the Holy Trinity and a Spirit at the same time and that He can be both inside of the baptized and believing Christians and present everywhere.
Let us look at Matthew 3:1-12, "3 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea, 2 And saying, 'Repent ye: for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.' 3 For this is he, that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias (Isaiah), saying, 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the Way of the Lord, make His paths straight.' 4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey. 5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan, 6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins. 7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, 'O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: 9 And think not to say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham to our father:' for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. 10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree, which bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but He, That cometh after me, is mightier than I, Whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit), and with fire: 12 Whose Fan is in His Hand, and He will throughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire'" (KJV 1611).
Christmas Tree Festival 2019: I will again have my slim Christmas Tree set up at the 2019 Allen County Museum Christmas Tree Festival at the Allen County Museum at 620 W. Market Street in Lima, Ohio. My slim Christmas Tree will again have all green lights on it and it shall also have Irish decorations on it. I plan on standing next to my Christmas Tree singing Christmas Carols in English, German, and Latin at random times during the festival, but I will try to be there once a day. The Christmas Tree Festival is a totally FREE event, but donations to the museum are greatly appreciated. The 2019 Christmas Tree Festival will be celebrated at the Allen County Museum from Wednesday December 4, 2019 to Sunday December 8, 2019. The festival hours will be Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday 10 AM to 5 PM, Friday 10 AM to 8 PM, and Sunday noon to 5 PM.
Stores Carrying My Books: My books, which I’ve written and published, are also available at the following stores: Brunner News Agency on Flanders Avenue in Lima, Ohio, Jen’s Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) on High Street in St. Marys, Ohio, The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio, Readmore Hallmark Stores out at Eastgate Plaza and on Elm Street in Lima, Ohio, Wagner’s IGA Grocery Store in Minster, Ohio, in the Book Mart section of ohiobookmart.com , and in the Shop section of my website ohioirishlutheranpress.com .
Thank you and Happy Christmas!
James W. O’Flannery, President and Founder of Ohio Irish Lutheran Press (OIL Press)