On Jordan's Bank
Charles Coffin (1736); Translation by John Chandler
Advent — what a strange and beautiful season!
When the religious leaders in Jerusalem sent messengers to John the Baptist to ask who he was and why he was baptizing people in the Jordan River, that kinsman of the Lord replied that he was not the Messiah. He was “a voice crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.”
How do we do that? I learned how to prepare for Christmas from the time I was a small boy. My father and mother would take us — there were two and then three and then four of us children — to a local department store, owned by a friend of his. We were given a certain amount of money (in our heads, not our hands) to spend on each other, and so I rummaged around for what I thought my kid brother and my kid sisters would like. That was a couple of days before Christmas. By then, we’d had the tree up and decorated, with ornaments and a lot of tinsel, and my father had strung…
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