Views from the Pews: Shake off the shyness this season

St Mary's Church, Market Weighton.
St Mary's Church, Market Weighton.

Today is the second Sunday of Advent and we will hear about St John the Baptist in the Gospel.

The author links John with prophesies in the Book of Isaiah: “Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight”. (Lk 3:4).

John the Baptist, was a man who lived austerely, and he was someone who attracted followers because of his bold way of life.

Living in poverty and preaching boldly, he gained people’s attention. There were people who followed him, thinking that he was the Christ, the One that they had been waiting for.

He also gained the attention of the political rulers, who were bemused by him. We know from the Gospel that Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, “was in awe of John. When he had heard him speak he was greatly perplexed, and yet liked to listen to him.” (Mk 6:20).

So in this present day, like John, we are asked (or it may be more accurate to say commanded) by the Lord Jesus, to be prophets, to make the Lord’s paths straight to those who have become deaf to His voice.

Sometimes we are too timid or shy at Christians to invite people to an event that is in any way religious.

Perhaps we can use this season to shake off our shyness and offer an invitation to someone? Maybe our church is having a Carol Service or a Nativity? We are not looking to make converts of people. We are just trying to live as Christ asks us to.

Are we aware of anyone being on their own this Christmas?

Do we ask to find out?

Perhaps we can offer someone a place at our


Christmas will arrive, no matter how we prepare to celebrate it. But maybe we will get more out of the Advent season if we keep it as an anticipation off the Coming of the Lord and not celebrating the Nativity too early?