Prepare The Way | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

01.8.21 | Community, Pulpit Posts, World

I have always found John the Baptist to be a fascinating person as he lived a simple life, clothed himself with what he found, and nourished himself with simple food, but most of all he didn’t mince words. In today’s vernacular, he told it like it is.

He may have been forthright in his ministry, but he was driven to prepare the way, because he knew who he was, a humble servant of God and he knew the one who was coming after him. He knew the blessings he would bring.

John’s life was all about preparation for the day he would meet the messiah. The time he would spend going through the land proclaiming the coming messiah, and the need for everyone to be prepared to greet him when he arrived.

Many listened to what he had to say and they prepared themselves as they went to him ein masse to receive Baptism by water and as a result were ready to greet Christ. The act of Baptism was the first step back then, just as it is for countless people today.

It’s undeniable that our preparations in recent times have been different to what would normally be happening, whether it is because you’re working from home, been furloughed, unemployed, been told to isolate because you or one of your family or friends, may have been infected, or indeed are currently suffering with Covid.

As part of that the church as a whole is seeing a greater number of people looking toward it for prayer, guidance and for comfort in these days of uncertainty. Perhaps part of this is because for many it is instinct to turn to God in times of great trial. For others they are looking for assurance and stability when things are changing so rapidly. One day we can do this, then the next it’s all different.

People are apprehensive about whether they are going to hear the message saying, please isolate. For those countless people who have not been able to see loved ones in person for such a long time, this may be the tip of the iceberg. I am sure that many would have other doubts and fears that could be added to this.

We are slowly starting to see glimmers of hope with a number of vaccines showing positive signs and then being distributed. It is these glimmers of hope that are keeping many people going at this time, the hope of a better future, one without restrictions and regulations.

As Christians, we also have hope, hope in Christ, the one who came down to earth to show the world a better way. There can be no doubt that when this little child was born, the world changed irrevocably, and continues to do so even today.

We need time to look deep within ourselves and ask, have we done all that we can? Have we lived the life that our faith expects of us?

In a year when so much has been asked of so many, the sacrifices that have been made, the challenges that we have faced and risen to accomplish, the new technologies that we have fought with as we learned how to use them, and the new ways that we have found to work, and interact with each other, it is clear that we have changed and adapted.

As we enter the Epiphany season may I ask that you spend 5 or 10 minutes each day in prayer. Pray for the world, pray for each other, pray for someone you know who is struggling and pray for yourself, that you would know the peace and love of Christ in your own life. If you want to pray longer, then please do. Do what is sustainable for you.

Rev. Robert Jacobs

Rev. Robert Jacobs


Stay current on activity at the Soup Kitchen, guest stories, thoughts from Clergy, news and events.

Subscribe to receive the latest news, events, volunteer opportunities, and more — right to your inbox.

Church of the Holy Apostles

We are an open, inclusive Christian Church celebrating in the Episcopal tradition.

Sunday Service is held 11AM (on site and via livestream). Weekday services are held on Zoom.


For Newcomers

Learn about our faith community and explore ways to connect with our work and worship.


Reflections on Holy Scripture from our Clergy.


Founded in 1844, with a focus on social activism and the desire for social justice.

Clergy, Staff & Vestry

The Vestry is the governing body of the Church of the Holy Apostles.


Music commands a strong presence at the Church of the Holy Apostles.

Space Rental

Host your next meeting or event in our landmark building.

Soup Kitchen & Pantry

Nourishing hungry New Yorkers since 1982 in an atmosphere of respect and hospitality.

Daily meal service

Serving a free, nutritious meal every weekday from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm.

Meal outreach

Distributing bagged breakfasts and lunches throughout Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen.

About the soup kitchen

Learn more about our mission, our history, our performance, who we are, and what we do.

Pantry Program

Providing fresh and nutritious groceries to food-insecure New Yorkers.

Sunday Supper

Bridging generations and building community over a monthly family style meal.

Give Layers of Love this Winter

Help Keep Our Guests Warm this Winter.

Social Support

Meeting basic needs, stabilizing lives, and supporting individuals and families to achieve their goals.


Addressing the needs of the whole person through basic needs, counseling, and referrals.


Offering learning and skill-building opportunities.

Community Partnership

Partnering with others to expand the services offered to our guests.

Get Involved

Holy Apostles is a great place to channel your time, talents and generosity for good.


Make a difference in the lives of New Yorkers experiencing homelessness and hunger.


Join our efforts to serve others and provide for people who are vulnerable.


Your gift provides food, community, and hope to New Yorkers in need.

The Latest

Stay up-to-date on all happenings at Holy Apostles.

Food For The Soul

The official blog of Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen.

Voices of Our Community

Guest stories, poetry, and more.


See our calendar of events.

Church Pulpit Posts

Read weekly meditations written by our clergy.


Holy Apostles in the news.